First the US and now the EU? Macron snubbed again in humiliating blow for France

Emmanuel Macron was left humiliated by the surprise announcement of the AUKUS pact between Australia, the UK and the US this week. The pact scuppered a multi-billion-pound Australian order for French submarines and prompted claims of “betrayal” and “treason” among French politicians. However, Mr Macron has suffered yet another blow this week as EU leaders prepare to further isolate the French President.

Steven Erlanger, the chief diplomatic correspondent for the New York Times, told France24 that EU member states did not see this as a European Union issue, but “a French problem”.

He said that member-states thought President Macron would try to exploit the AUKUS pact to leverage calls for a European army.

Mr Erlanger explained: “What happens in the German election, which is not far away, will be telling.

“Everyone wants Europe to spend more on defence and be more capable.

“But as Ursula von der Leyen herself said on Wednesday, it is not a matter of capacity, it is a matter of political will.”

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The diplomatic correspondent continued: “Who will join the French in the political will? Will the Germans? They are very reluctant to do so.

“Will the Poles join the French? They want to stay with the Americans.

“Will the Italians or the Spanish? This is the French problem.

“The worry in Paris is being isolated, to be left alone while Britain goes with America, and they are in a Europe that is not militarily conscious.

Mr Erlanger also noted that Josep Borrell, the foreign affairs representative for the EU, “doesn’t speak for the rest of Europe” when he called for a European army in response to the AUKUS pact.

The Australian decision to ditch the French submarine deal has triggered an unprecedented diplomatic crisis between the allies.

Paris even recalled its envoys to Washington and Canberra for consultations.

A French government spokesman said on Sunday that President Emmanuel Macron would have a call with US President Joe Biden “in the next few days”.

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