French President Emmanuel Macron has called for a “true European army” to be created to allow the EU to defend itself from the US, Russia and China.
Macron has pushed for a closer more powerful EU defense union since coming to power last year. “We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,” Mr Macron told Europe 1 Radio in an interview.
“We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army,” he continued. “We need a Europe which defends itself better alone, without just depending on the United States, in a more sovereign manner.” Mr Macron was speaking in north-east France during a week-long tour of battlefields.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, said “deference to NATO can no longer be used as a convenient alibi to argue against greater European efforts.”
France has been the most vocal proponent of an EU army but Germany has also endorsed Macron’s proposals.
Member states have launched 34 joint missions under the EU flag since 2003 under the Common Security and Defense Policy. The Permanent Structured Cooperation or Pesco initiative activated in 2017, 25 of the 28 armed forces are in the process of stepping up cooperation between their militaries.
Denmark, Malta, and the United Kingdom have decided to opt-out of the voluntary system.
Photo: “LEWEB 2014 – CONFERENCE – LEWEB TRENDS – IN CONVERSATION WITH EMMANUEL MACRON (FRENCH MINISTER FOR ECONOMY INDUSTRY AND DIGITAL AFFAIRS) – PULLMAN STAGE” by OFFICIAL LEWEB PHOTOS is licensed under CC BY 2.0