Denmark helped US spy on EU officials

According to joint investigations conducted by several European media outlets, Denmark's intelligence service apparently helped the US National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on leading politicians in EU member states. French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have called such actions "unacceptable". The media point to where changes are needed.

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Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

A lack of supervision

For the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the findings raise serious questions:

“The first is whether close ties to the US really mean that much more to the Danes than the trust of their European allies. ... Democrats have every reason to take a close look. What the revelations have been showing since 2020 is an intelligence agency that is out of control. An agency that has illegally targeted its own citizens on several occasions. Supervision of the intelligence services in Denmark is weak. It needs more power and more resources. The Danes are proud of their trust in the state and its institutions. But how can the rule of law be trusted when it is undermined by the very people charged with protecting it?”

Wiener Zeitung (AT) /

Partners must trust each other

The espionage affair is driving a wedge between the EU member states, analyses the Wiener Zeitung:

“The US will get the revelations about this well-known problem off the agenda with a quick 'sorry'. ... The Danish government will have to face tougher questions. In the EU a more fundamental category of trust is at stake. The development of a common security, defence and foreign policy can only succeed if all partners can be sure that another power's mole is not sitting at their table. Especially not if that power is China or Russia. But also vis-à-vis the US, the Europeans must also be able to rely on each other. The EU is still a long way from all this.”

L'Echo (BE) /

Europe at kindergarten level

The EU member states need to urgently develop their intelligence services, L'Echo demands:

“One can start dreaming of a Europe capable of moving up the intelligence ladder. However, this is one of the areas where union is most difficult. Try asking the secret services of 27 countries to share their hard-won information with when even the services within a single country are incapable of it. ... Since a European NSA is unlikely for the time being, shouldn't we first invest in functioning national intelligence services? Otherwise the Belgians and Europeans will be condemned to playing at kindergarten level when it comes to intelligence.”