Macron Calls for EU Army for Defense against China, Russia, ‘Even the USA’
Europe needs to be able to defend itself “without just depending on the United States”, according to the French President.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron has made a call for the creation what he referred to as a “true European army” that would be capable of defending the European Union against the likes of China, Russia, and “even the United States of America”.
Macron’s call comes ahead of the 100th anniversary since the signing of the armistice in World War I on November 11, 1918.
France’s President has been speaking in favor of a closer defense union within the EU but has been able to bring about little progress in that regard since he took over the French Presidency in the spring of 2017.
In his words, the EU army is supposed to provide the EU with protection against threats ranging from Vladimir Putin to Donald Trump.
“We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,” Macron told France’s Europe 1 radio in an interview, as cited by The Independent.
“When I see President Trump announcing that he’s quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s Euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security,” the French leader argued.
“We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army. We need a Europe which defends itself better alone, without just depending on the United States, in a more sovereign manner,” he elaborated.
Macron was speaking in Verdun, in Northeast France, where he is on a week-long tour of battlefields ahead of the First World War Armistice centenary commemorations on Sunday.
For Remembrance Sunday, he will host precisely Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin as well as other world leaders.
France has been the main proponent of an EU army, while Germany has tentatively supported Macron’s proposals for a joint command structure for military interventions.
The European Commission, the EU executive, has previously said that closer defense cooperation within the Union “is not about creating an EU army”, although last year its President Jean-Claude Juncker stated that “deference to NATO can no longer be used as a convenient alibi to argue against greater European efforts”.
A Commission spokesperson echoed Macron’s EU vision call later on Tuesday.
EU member states have launched a total of 34 joint missions under the EU flag since 2003 under the Common Security and Defense Policy.
Under the new “Permanent Structured Cooperation” (PESCO), which was legislated for in 2009 and activated in 2017, 25 of the 28 armed forces are in the process of stepping up cooperation between their militaries, while the UK, Denmark, and Malta have opted out.
(Banner image: VIdeo Grab, Emmanuel Macron on Twitter)