US 'spying' on EU – the differing views from Paris and Brussels

By and

The revelation that the United States has been spying on European Union offices in America – and possibly in Brussels too – has sparked outrage across the continent. French president François Hollande has called for an 'immediate' end to such snooping and he and others have suggested the scandal could affect the imminent negotiations over transatlantic trade. There have also been calls from the Right and Left in France for Paris to offer the whistleblower Edward Snowden political asylum. However, as Ludovic Lamant and Stéphane Alliès report, the reaction from EU leaders in Brussels to the affair has so far been much more restrained.

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The claim that the United States has been secretly spying on the European Union has provoked shock and outrage across Europe. But the tone and content of the reaction in the EU's main institutional body, the European Commission itself, has been markedly different from that in France and some other countries.