French European Affairs Minister Clément Beaune said he would address the trade pact and the security implications of the deal, known as Aukus, during a meeting with his counterparts in Brussels, and that France would ensure that it is discussed at EU summits and ministerial meetings. month.
The Indo-Pacific security pact will see Australia cancel a £ 48 billion contract to buy French diesel-electric submarines and instead acquire US nuclear-powered ships.
The French government is hinting that it has been betrayed by the deal, which comes in the run-up to elections in France in April.
“It’s a matter of trust,” Beaune told reporters. “When you have your word, it has a certain value between allies, between democracies, between partners and in this case this word has not been respected … so of course that creates a breach of trust. “
“We have to be firm, not as French people but as Europeans, because it is about how we work together as allies,” he said.
Asked whether France would put an end to trade negotiations with Australia, underway since 2018, Beaune replied “this is one of the points we must discuss together”.
The executive branch of the EU, the European Commission, conducts trade negotiations on the basis of a mandate it receives from the 27 member countries.
The commission regularly informs countries of progress, but they are not directly involved although they may delay progress.
However, any trade pact must be approved unanimously, so that each country has a right of veto.