EU policymakers said on Monday that talks for a free trade agreement between the US and the EU might be at risk. The threat comes after reports revealed over the weekend that American spies had allegedly been wiretapping EU buildings in Brussels and Washington.
Both the European Commission and the European Parliament have demanded quick clarification.
‘This is a very serious matter indeed and a very blow for the relations between the EU and the United States. This afternoon I spoke to the U.S. Ambassador to the EU over the phone and I asked him to clarify the matter as swiftly as thoroughly as possible and I asked him to inform us whether these allegations are true or not’, said EP’s president Martin Schulz.
‘These are disturbing news if proven true. They demand full clarification. As soon as the media reports about alleged spying and eavesdropping on EU premises and delegations were made known, the Commission asked the European External Action Service to immediately raise the matter with the US authorities in Washington DC and in Brussels to verify the veracity of these reports’, said EC’s spokesperson Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen.
Earlier in June, MEPs had already slammed the US government over reports that it had been snooping on EU citizen’s personal data. They called for tougher online regulations as the EU and US are about to launch transatlantic trade talks.
‘I also informed the American Ambassador if it proves true that there has been bugs installed in the EU offices in Washington I really don’t think that the EP should be seen as an enemy force, I also think that would be a very serious blow for trust and certainty if this proofs true I would be rising energetic protest against this’, said EP’s president Martin Schulz.
EU’s Justice commissioner Viviane Reding said over the weekend that a transatlantic agreement would not be reached spying activities are carried out in their offices.