When the current round of US/EU Trade Talks was conceived, we are sure that there were many potentially complicating issues in the minds of the conveners and several likely “deal breakers” which would have to be approached and circumnavigated with consummate diplomatic skill.
Here at the Blog (and we may be wrong of course) we are pretty sure that the recent revelations in the Snowden/PRISM “scandal” that the US is alleged to have been eavesdropping various EU meetings were not amongst the forecast obstacles.
On the Today Programme (UK BBC Radio 4) this morning, an informed US diplomatic source noted that whilst there had been a certain amount of public outrage expressed and that the EU was grumbling overtly, most European Governments have been very quiet on the issue.
Why? Because they spy too and because it is a tacitly accepted “norm” that states need to gather all sorts of intelligence for the protection of their interests including, from time to time, “bugging our friends” (as he put it).
If this causes a real problem in the TTIP talks then that is a matter for considerable regret – the reality, however, is that the future prospects for procurement opportunities are unlikely to be materially adversely affected.
It seems that the life blood of the Member States of the EU (in common with the US) is, whether the Commissioners like it or not, made up of spying white cells and trading red cells.
This article from Euractiv shows just how exercised the EU appears to: