I suspect the answer to Dr Alf’s question relates to the founding of the EU and its original purpose which was to create a United States of Europe and a successor to the Holy Roman Empire. France was one of the original founders and conceivers of the EU and as such they think that the EU is “their baby” and that they can use it to suit French interests ahead of everyone elses with the exception of Germany which is of course the master of Europe.
As was the case with “Animal Farm” where some pigs are more equal than others, the EU has some members which are more equal than others ranging from Greece which is being treated as a pariah state to the northern European countries like Holland and Sweden which are treated much better but are still subservient to Germany’s overarching power.
France is badly run and has a working population who think the world owes them a living and has politicians who are too frightened to tell them home truths about the need for greater competitiveness. Because of that weakness of leadership France tries to take the easy road which is to exploit EU structures aggressively for financial benefit.
In the UK civil servants who want to push through unpopular policies “gold plate” EU regulations in order to deflect blame from themselves and as such do not “call out” France when it engages in skullduggery to win arms contracts for Thales and its military industrial complex.
Thus France gets away with things but the UK and weaker EU nations do not.
Juncker who is brutally direct and even more so after he has had a drink or two is actually telling the truth about France and the EU Commission but being open can sometimes create reputational damage whereas discretion would have dictated silence.