EU security must no longer depend on US, says Macron





Paris (AFP) - 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.

Relaunching his diplomatic agenda after the summer break, the 40-year-old president said he would put forward new proposals in the coming months for the EU to boost defence cooperation, as well as talks with Russia on their security relationship -- an issue of concern for countries on Europe's eastern edge.

"Europe can no longer rely on the United States 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.

Macron's comments are likely to find support in EU powerhouse Germany after Foreign Minister Heiko Maas made a similar call for boosted military cooperation last week.

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.

- Swipes at Hungary and Italy -

Macron came to power last year vowing to overhaul the EU and has pushed for deep political reforms -- including a separate budget for the eurozone -- which have so far met with lukewarm support.

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 "France seems sometimes to be on a solitary path".

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.

Video:

"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.

- 'Xenophobes bring no solutions' -

He also took at a swipe at ruling populists in Hungary and Italy, drily noting that their anti-EU rhetoric seemed to vanish when it came to accepting economic development aid from the EU.

"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.

"But does that excuse xenophobic comments?" he added in what appeared to be a veiled jab at Italy's far-right League.

"I don't think so, and I think these xenophobes bring no solutions to the problem they complain of."

In a typically expansive overview of his foreign policy, Macron called for Europe to build "strategic partnerships" with neighbours Turkey and Russia despite their differences.

Britain will also be in line for a "strategic partnership" after its departure from the EU scheduled next year -- but Macron warned that Brexit must not come at the cost of the unity of the rest of the EU.

COMMENTS

More Related News

ISIS bride Hoda Muthana's family files lawsuit against Trump
ISIS bride Hoda Muthana's family files lawsuit against Trump

The father of a woman who traveled from her home in Alabama to marry an ISIS fighter files a lawsuit against the Trump administration to get her home.

Reparations for Slavery: Just More Symbolism over Substance
Reparations for Slavery: Just More Symbolism over Substance

The French people recently completed paying out about $60 million to non-French victims of the Holocaust and their survivors in a program administered by the United States, a reminder that the United States' central role in the rehabilitation and rebuilding of postwar Europe never quite came to a conclusion.This settlement, which is separate from the reparations paid to French victims of the Holocaust, recognizes the French collaboration in transporting non-citizens to Nazi death camps on French trains. Most of those receiving the reparations are now Americans or Israelis.The terms of the payments are specific, limiting the reparations to the survivors themselves, their spouses, their...

Father of US-born woman who joined IS sues over citizenship
Father of US-born woman who joined IS sues over citizenship
  • World
  • 2019-02-22 03:56:26Z

The father of an Alabama woman who joined the Islamic State group in Syria sued Thursday to bring her home after the Trump administration took the extraordinary step of declaring that she was not a US citizen. Hoda Muthana, 24, says that she regrets joining the extremists and is willing to face prosecution

Putin to U.S.: I
Putin to U.S.: I'm ready for another Cuban Missile crisis if you want one

Tensions are rising over Russian fears the U.S. might deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe as a Cold war-era arms control treaty unravels.

US: Alabama woman who joined Islamic State is not a citizen
US: Alabama woman who joined Islamic State is not a citizen

WASHINGTON (AP) - An Alabama woman who joined the Islamic State group in Syria won't be allowed to return to the United States with her toddler son because she is not an American citizen, the U.S. said Wednesday. Her lawyer is challenging that claim.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.