EU ′can no longer rely on US,′ says France′s Macron | News | DW | 27.08.2018
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EU 'can no longer rely on US,' says France's Macron

As Washington doubts its relationship with the EU, more European officials have called for lessening the bloc's reliance on the US. Macron said he would unveil proposals to bolster EU security "in the coming months."

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said his government would unveil proposals "in the coming months" to boost security across the EU, in a bid to diminish the bloc's reliance on the US for its defense needs.

"Europe can no longer rely on the United States for its security," Macron said during a speech to French diplomats and lawmakers. "It is up to us to guarantee European security."

Macron said the EU needed to "take new initiatives, build new alliances" to ensure its preservation. "I want us to launch an exhaustive review of our security with all Europe's partners, which includes Russia," he added.

Differences on defense

Macron's remarks come as the White House continues to question US relations with Europe. US President Donald Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on Washington's commitment to the NATO military alliance, saying the US pays far more for defense than other member states.

In 2014, NATO nations agreed to stop cuts to defense spending and pursue a target of 2 percent of GDP by 2024. But Trump has called for alliance members to reach the goal sooner or see the US "moderate" its commitment.

Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron shake hands

Although their relationship has been dubbed a "bromance," French President Emmanuel Macron has criticized US President Donald Trump's decisions to pull out of the Iran deal and impose tariffs against EU steel and aluminum

'Counterweight to the US'

But defense spending isn't the only problem straining EU-US relations. Brussels has criticized the US for pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal and reimposing sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Meanwhile, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last month managed to avert a trade war by negotiating a deal with Trump after Washington imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum exports against its economic ally, the EU.

Read more: When does a trade spat become an actual trade war?

Last week, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas made similar remarks to Macron's in a guest article for German business newspaper Handelsblatt, saying Europe must "take an equal share of the responsibility" and "form a counterweight to the US." 

"If we go it alone, we will fail in this task," Maas said. "The outstanding aim of our foreign policy is to build a sovereign, strong Europe. Only by joining forces with France and other European nations can a balance with the US be achieved."

ls/es (AFP, dpa)

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