The United States, the United Kingdom and Australia did not tell the European Union that they were working on a new military alliance.
The European Commission has asked the three countries for explanations about the security pact, which they concluded on Wednesday, and will discuss the consequences with the EU countries.
The announcement of the pact hit Brussels like a bomb. The EU has also recently sought closer cooperation with Australia and other countries around the Pacific and Indian Oceans to counter emerging China. Just a few hours before the announcement of the three countries, committee chair Ursula von der Leyen had laid out plans for this in her annual ‘throne speech’.
But the new Anglo-Saxon alliance “will not affect relations” with the US, UK and Australia, the commission says. “Whether it’s foreign policy, trade or whatever.”
A committee spokesperson declined to comment on questions about the implications of events for Brussels’ confidence in Washington, London and Canberra. However, the EU has also felt taken by surprise by other recent US moves, such as the withdrawal from Afghanistan.