Europe must not be the ‘vassal’ of US

France President has said that Europe must not be the ‘vassal’ of US in International equations.

Europe must not be the ‘vassal’ of US

MojNews-France President has said that Europe must not be the ‘vassal’ of US in International equations. 

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday urged Europe to wake up to the fact that it was not sufficiently armed in the face of global threats such as Russian aggression that pose an existential challenge to the continent.

In a major foreign policy speech, Macron called on Europe to adopt a "credible" defense strategy that is less dependent on the US.

Macron returned to some of the themes of a speech he gave in September 2017 months after taking office at the same location – the Sorbonne University in Paris – but in a context that seven years on has been turned upside down by Brexit, Covid-19 and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Europe must rise to the challenges of a changed world and scale up its defence, said Macron, warning that the EU was not sufficiently armed to take on global threats such as Russia's war in Ukraine.

"Our Europe today is mortal and it can die," said Macron. "It can die and this depends only on our choices," he noted. "We need to build this strategic concept of a credible European defence for ourselves." 

He described Russia's behaviour after its invasion of Ukraine as "uninhibited" and said it was no longer clear where Moscow's "limits" lie.

Macron also sounded the alarm on what he described as disrespect of global trade rules by both Russia and China, calling on the European Union to revise its trade policy.

"Our Europe, today, is mortal and it can die," he said.

"It can die and this depends only on our choices," said Macron, warning that Europe was "not armed against the risks we face" in a world where the "rules of the game have changed".

Macron also championed the concept of European sovereignty, calling for autonomy in defence and the economy.

"How can we build our sovereignty, our autonomy, if we don't assume the responsibility of developing our own European defence industry?" he asked.

Europe "must show that it is never a vassal of the United States and that it also knows how to talk to all the other regions of the world", he said.

He said he would ask European partners for proposals in the next months and added that Europe also needed its own capacity in cyber defence and cybersecurity.

Macron said preference should be given to European suppliers in the purchase of military equipment and backed the idea of a European loan to finance this effort.

He also called for a "revision" of EU trade policy to defend European interests, accusing both China and the US of no longer respecting the rules of global commerce.

"It cannot work if we are the only ones in the world to respect the rules of trade – as they were written up 15 years ago – if the Chinese and the Americans no longer respect them by subsidising critical sectors."


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