Macron says EU can no longer entrust its security to the US alone: 'It's up to us'

French president says defence cooperation should include all European countries, including Russia

Tom Embury-Dennis
Monday 27 August 2018 13:02 BST
Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during the annual French ambassadors' conference
Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during the annual French ambassadors' conference

Emmanuel Macron has said Europe can no longer entrust its security to the US alone, during a speech setting out the roadmap for French diplomacy in the year to come.

In front of an audience of French ambassadors on Monday, Mr Macron said "it's up to us" to guarantee Europe's security and therefore its sovereignty

He said discussions on defence cooperation should include all European countries and Russia, on condition progress is made with Moscow on Ukraine.

France is pushing for the full implementation of the 2015 Minsk peace agreement that was sponsored by France and Germany to settle the conflict in Ukraine, which has killed at least 10,000 people since 2014.

Since his election in May 2017, the 40-year-old leader has called for a more integrated European Union (EU), with a common European defence budget and security doctrine.

In November, EU countries officially launched a new era in defence cooperation with a programme of joint military investment and project development aimed at helping the EU confront its security challenges.

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Twenty-three of the EU's 28 member nations signed up to the process, known as permanent structured cooperation, or Pesco.

Britain, which is leaving the EU in 2019, and Denmark, which has a defence opt-out, were among those not taking part.

Mr Macron also called for trade discussions to be held between the US, Europe, China and Japan in November in Paris.

He said world trade rules were not currently working but "unilateralism and trade war is the worst response".

He proposed to organise a meeting on the issue on the margins of World War One commemorations on 11 November, since he has invited dozens of world leaders to the event including Donald Trump, who said he would come.

"I think we can build a fairer and more efficient system. I think we should not give in to one's hegemony and everyone's division", Mr Macron said in a reference to Mr Trump's trade policies to impose tariffs on countries like China.

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