Emmanuel Macron has said that European Union member states need to “play a larger role in its own defense”. The French President hit back at suggestions that the EU pushing ahead with its defence plans was “incompatible” with NATO. Mr Macron said that with the US changing its focus to the Pacific-Asia region, “we need Europe to deal with our neighbourhood”.
Speaking to the Munich Security Conference, he said: “I do believe in NATO.
“But NATO needs more political momentum and clarification about its strategy concept. It needs a political approach.
“I believe that the best possible involvement of Europe within NATO is to be much more in charge of its own security and more in charge of its strategic autonomy.
“This is totally compatible. It will make NATO even stronger than before.”
He added that the EU should not be “dependent” on the US for security, adding: “The EU and its key member states have to be part of the solution of their own security”.
Mr Macron continued: “The US has become a Pacific power, which is mainly looking at China and Asia.
“It is time for Europe to take much more of the burden of its own security.”
He said that “doing more in Europe is the way to rebalance the transatlantic relations and show the Americans that we are a reliable and credible actor.”
Just last year, Mr Macron stunned NATO allies by saying NATO was “experiencing brain death”.
He later insisted his attack on NATO was a necessary wake-up call for the transatlantic military alliance.
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