PARIS — France has asked the U.S. and Denmark for detail on their spying practices after revelations that Danish secret agents may have helped Washington spy on European politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“There’s no space between us for suspicion, that’s why what we are waiting for is clarity. We have asked our Danish and American partners to share all the relevant information,” French President Emmanuel Macron said at a joint press conference with Merkel on Monday afternoon.
According to reports by multiple European news outlets, Denmark’s secret services helped the U.S. National Security Agency spy on European officials, including Merkel, between 2012 and 2014.
Macron said France’s request concerned past spying practices but also current ones.
“If these revelations are correct, I want to say it is not acceptable among allies, very clearly. It is even less acceptable among allies and European partners, so I am attached to having ties between Americans and Europeans that are based on trust,” Macron said. “There’s no space between us for suspicion.”
Merkel echoed Macron’s comments at the press conference, held after a joint French-German Cabinet meeting.
“I can only endorse the words of Emmanuel Macron,” she said. “We have already discussed these things a long time ago in connection with the NSA. Our position in relation to the investigation of the issues at that time has not changed. We rely on trusting relations and what was right then is right now. I was reassured by the fact that Denmark, too — the Danish government, the minister of defense — have made it very clear what they think of these things, and in this respect, I see a good basis not only for clearing up the facts but also for really establishing relations based on trust.”
Danish Defense Minister Trine Bramsen told public broadcaster DR that “systematic interception of close allies is unacceptable.”
American President Joe Biden was vice president at the time of the reported spying. He will meet with his European counterparts in mid-June for a series of high-profile summits, starting with the G7 in the U.K., followed by a NATO summit in Brussels and a U.S.-EU summit.
Want more analysis from POLITICO? POLITICO Pro is our premium intelligence service for professionals. From financial services to trade, technology, cybersecurity and more, Pro delivers real time intelligence, deep insight and breaking scoops you need to keep one step ahead. Email [email protected] to request a complimentary trial.