Macron pushes for EU security amid flagging US promises

Paris – Europe can no longer rely on the US for its defence needs warned French President Emmanuel Macron as he made a renewed push for the EU to bulk up on its security organization.

“Europe can no longer entrust its security solely to the United States,” he said in a speech to French diplomats.

Learning from the Cold War

He called for a thorough review of Europe’s security and defence policies and said he plans to present a new initiative in the coming months. He said Russia would have to be included in any new plans and pleaded for a renewed dialogue with Moscow.

“We have to learn all the lessons we can from the end of the Cold War,” he said Monday.

Macron pointed out that France has already called upon its EU allies for aid once before, after a series of terrorist attacks that rocked Paris towards the end of 2015. He noted that plea was grounded in EU agreements calling for members to come to each other’s aid.

Now, he said, France is ready for “concrete discussions” about those contractual obligations. However, he provided no clue as to how he thinks these talks will go.

Reviewing EU’s security arrangements

The speech builds on earlier calls from Macron – who leads one of Europe’s few nuclear-powered countries, one which sends troops abroad more regularly than others – to review Europe’s security arrangements.

Much of the push has been prompted by US President Donald Trump’s America First policies, which have left many allies wondering if the US would jump in to assist in case of an emergency.

“It falls upon us today to take responsibility and to guarantee European security and sovereignty,” he said.

A spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini noted that the EU has taken “decisive steps” to build up European security and defence in recent years. She referred to the joint PESCO defence project; the development of a defence fund; and a new planning cell for EU military missions around the world.