French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday called for Europe to stop relying on the United States for its military defence as he pushed for fresh EU integration in the face of rising nationalism around the continent he said EU security must no longer depend on US for security.
EU security must no longer depend on US for its security. It is up to us to guarantee European security,” Macron told an audience of some 250 diplomats, lawmakers and international relations experts.
His comments follow US President Donald Trump repeatedly distanced himself from the NATO military alliance, which groups the United States with most of Europe and has underpinned European security since World War II.
Writing in the Handelsblatt newspaper, Maas called for Europe to “take an equal share of the responsibility” and “form a counterweight” to Washington as Europe-US relations cool.
France and Germany have both backed the idea of a small joint European response force over the last year, and have announced plans to develop a fighter jet together.
His agenda has been hit in particular by the rise of a new eurosceptic and nationalist government in Italy, as well as resistance from rightwing leaders in Poland and Hungary.
He admitted that EU security must no longer depend on US “France seems sometimes to be on a solitary path”.he said
But Macron lashed out at the rising tide of nationalism and called for countries to heal divisions which have widened over how to tackle the ongoing influx of migrants in particular.
“France wants a Europe which protects, even as extremism has grown stronger and nationalism has awoken,” he said.
“Divisions between north and south over economics, between east and west on migration, too often fracture our European Union,” he added, urging a “humanist” approach to the changes brought by globalisation.
As for the solution, he insisted his approach would be to “give up nothing of the ambitions set out a year ago” when he came to office, which would mean creating a more integrated European Union with greater strategic autonomy.
“Do China and the United States think of Europe as a power with similar independence to their own? It is not the case,” he said.
“There is a clear approach of European opportunism while claiming to be nationalist,” he said, calling out Hungary’s Viktor Orban by name.
He did, however, acknowledge that a lack of European solidarity had played a role in prompting bitter disputes in recent months with Italy over migration.