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Macron calls for creation of a ‘true European army’

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:54 pm    Post subject: Macron calls for creation of a ‘true European army’ Reply with quote

Emmanuel Macron calls for creation of a ‘true European army’ to defend the continent from both Russia and the US

Emmanuel Macron calls for creation of a 'real European army'

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and British Prime Minister Theresa May inspect troops as they visit an Estonian military base in Tapa on the sidelines of a European Union summit, on September 29, 2017.
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and British Prime Minister Theresa May inspect troops as they visit an Estonian military base in Tapa on the sidelines of a European Union summit, on September 29, 2017. CREDIT: JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP
Henry Samuel, paris James Crisp, brussels
6 NOVEMBER 2018 • 6:00PM
President Emmanuel Macron of France has called for a "real European army" to defend the continent against Russia, China, and even America.

Mr Macron, who has pushed for a joint EU military force since his election last year, issued the call while on a tour of northern France in the run-up to the centenary of the end of the First World War.

"We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army," Mr Macron said in the interview at Verdun, the scene of France’s most bloody battle.

His call came as he is due to welcome Donald Trump, the US president, and other world leaders, including Theresa May and Russia’s Vladimir Putin to France to commemorate the Armistice centenary this weekend.

The French president said the continent could no longer rely on protection from America, citing the recent decision of Mr Trump to withdraw from a Cold War-era nuclear treaty, and even suggesting its old ally posed a potential threat.

"We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America," Mr Macron told Europe 1 in his first radio interview since taking power.

"When I see President Trump announcing that he's quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security," he said.

Macron called for a "real European army" to defend the continent against China, Russia and the US
Faced with "a Russia which is at our borders and has shown that it can be a threat”, Mr Macron added: "We need a Europe which defends itself better alone, without just depending on the United States, in a more sovereign manner.”

His call followed previous threats from Mr Trump could not bank on America protecting them if they failed to meet their annual defence spending commitments to Nato.

This prompted Mr Macron to declare last month: "Europe can no longer rely solely on the United States for its security.”

While he enjoys good working relations with Mr Trump, Mr Macron has called his "America First" isolationism “worrying”.

Last month, he laid into the US president’s policies on Iran, Arab-Israeli peace, climate change and migration in a speech to the UN General Assembly in New York.

In an apparent swipe at Mr Trump, Mr Macron said: “Nationalism always leads to defeat.

"If courage is lacking in the defence of fundamental principles, international order becomes fragile and this can lead as we have already seen twice, to global war."

The EU launched a defence pact called the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) last year. The pact will have the backing of a new multi-billion euro defence fund to develop Europe’s military capacities and make the continent more strategically independent.

The European Commission on Tuesday boasted that it had done more than any previous EU executive to boost defence cooperation, pointing to its activation of long-dormant clauses in EU treaties to allow countries to pool defence research funding.

Its chief spokesperson said: “'If there's a commission that has put forward the need for a meaningful defence identity for the EU it's this commission. This is the commission that has woken up the Sleeping Beauty of the treaty of Lisbon.

“I don't think this defence identity will start with an EU army and we'll do the rest. We have to start with the rest and at some point we may see something that people describe as an EU army.”

Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the commission, is in favour of boosting EU defence, saying in 2015: “You would not create a European army to use it immediately. But a common army among the Europeans would convey to Russia that we are serious about defending the values of the European Union.”

Britain is keen on forging a security treaty with the EU that would continue to grant it access to continental databases, weapons contracts and intelligence sharing after Brexit.

But it has always argued against the idea of a European army as a competitor to Nato.

In September, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, the former UK Chief of the Defence Staff and new chairman of Nato's military committee, warned against the idea, saying: “Why would you duplicate? The answer, of course, we believe, is you wouldn’t want to duplicate.”

Britain and France, both nuclear-armed, are by far Europe’s two biggest military powers, and in 2010 set up a Combined Joint Expeditionary Force to cement long-standing ties in defence.

Defence analysts expressed scepticism over the concept of a European army any time soon.

Bruno Alomar, professor at the School of War in Paris, said the idea of creating a "common strategic culture" was interesting.

"But there exists a fantastic gap between European defence dreams of Emmanuel Macron and the reality of very powerful disagreements between European partners on defence issues," he told AFP.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

France And Germany Take Major Step Toward EU Army To Protect "Europe Threatened By Nationalism"

Wed, 01/23/2019 - 01:00

French President Emmanuel Macron's push for what he previously called "a real European army" got a big boost on Tuesday amid France and Germany signing an updated historic treaty reaffirming their close ties and commitment to support each other during a ceremony in the city of Aachen, a border town connected to Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire. But the timing for the renewal of the two countries' 1963 post-war reconciliation accord is what's most interesting, given both the rise of eurosceptic nationalism, the uncertainty of Brexit, and just as massive 'Yellow Vests' protests rage across France for a tenth week.

Macron addressed this trend specifically at the signing ceremony with the words, "At a time when Europe is threatened by nationalism, which is growing from within... Germany and France must assume their responsibility and show the way forward."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron attend a signing of a new agreement on bilateral cooperation and integration, known as Treaty of Aachen. Image via Reuters
Germany's Angela Merkel agreed, adding in her own remarks: “We are doing this because we live in special times and because in these times we need resolute, distinct, clear, forward-looking answers.” The agreement, which is being described as sparse on specifics or detail, focuses on foreign policy and defense ties between Berlin and Paris.

“Populism and nationalism are strengthening in all of our countries,” Merkel EU officials at the ceremony. “Seventy-four years – a single human lifetime – after the end of the second world war, what seems self-evident is being called into question once more.”

Macron said those “who forget the value of Franco-German reconciliation are making themselves accomplices of the crimes of the past. Those who... spread lies are hurting the same people they are pretending to defend, by seeking to repeat history.”

And in remarks that formed another affirmation that the two leaders are seeking to form an "EU army" Merkel said just before signing the treaty: “The fourth article of the treaty says we, Germany and France, are obliged to support and help each other, including through military force, in case of an attack on our sovereignty.”

The text of the updated treaty includes the aim of a “German-French economic area with common rules” and a “common military culture” that Merkel asserted could “contribute to the creation of a European army”.

Later before a press pool, Merkel endorsed the idea of a joint European army further:

We have taken major steps in the field of military cooperation, this is good and largely supported in this house. But I also have to say, seeing the developments of the recent years, that we have to work on a vision to establish a real European army one day.

She clarified that the new military organization wouldn't exist as a counterpart to or in competition with NATO, similar to prior comments she made before European parliament.

Previously in November she had assured, "This is not an army against NATO, it can be a good complement to NATO." This was also in support of Macron's early November statements wherein he said of the proposed EU army, "We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the US” — words that were issued on the heels President Trump's initial announcement that the US would withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

Despite such such assurances analysts say the natural and long term by-product of a "real European army" — as Macron and Merkel suggesting — would be the slow eroding and demise of US power in the region, which would no doubt weaken the NATO alliance.

The closest thing to a current "EU army" that does exist (if it can be called even that) - the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) - is generally perceived as more of a civil and emergency response joint EU member mechanism that would be ineffectual under the threat of an actual military invasion or major event.

Meanwhile perhaps a prototype EU army is already in action on the streets of Paris, revealing what critics fear it may actually be used for in the future...

The expected push back came swiftly and fiercely as Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Rally party, slammed the updated Aachen treaty as “an act that borders on treason”, while others worried this is an attempt to create a “super EU” within the bloc.

Alexander Gauland of Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), for example, warned:

As populists, we insist that one first takes care of one’s own country... We don’t want Macron to renovate his country with German money … The EU is deeply divided. A special Franco-German relationship will alienate us even further.

Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, warned earlier this month that his country could seek an “Italian-Polish axis” to challenge the whole premise of a “Franco-German motor” that drives European centralization.

Also notable of Tuesday's signing is that the Aachen document prioritizes Germany being eventually accepted as permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, which it mandates as a priority for French-German diplomacy. Such a future scenario on the security council would shift power significantly in favor of a western bloc of allies the US, Britain, and France, which Germany would vote alongside.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tory MP warns against Macron's 'totally inappropriate and dangerous' EU army dreams
EMMANUEL Macron’s dreams of joint military personnel across the European Union are “totally inappropriate” and could undermine NATO, the collective defence alliance of 28 countries bordering the North Atlantic Ocean.
18:20, Mon, Feb 11, 2019 | UPDATED: 23:20, Mon, Feb 11, 2019

Brexiteer MP Richard Drax calls EU army ‘totally inappropriate’
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The Tory backbencher and former British army officer said EU leaders’ calls for a European Union army are “potentially dangerous”. When asked by about Emmanuel Macron’s recent calls for an EU army, Mr Drax said: “It’s totally inappropriate and potentially dangerous because it will undermine NATO. And whenever people say that if it wasn’t for the EU then the Russians will have come across the border. It’s absolutely rubbish.


Guy Verhofstadt HAILS Macron and Merkel's EU army plan

REVEALED: What Macron REALLY means when he says he wants EU army
When people say if it wasn’t for the EU then the Russians will have come across the border. It’s rubbish

Richard Drax
“Where was the EU when we went to war with Argentina? I was serving at the time in 1982. Where were our so-called allies? You couldn’t see them for dust.

“I reminded a Frenchman recently during the last election campaign who was very much angry at my stance.

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“I said ‘what’s the difference between a true friend? Is it someone who stands by you in times of trouble?’.

“He replied ‘yes’ and I said ‘where were we in 1944 on the 6th June?’.

Macron news: Tory MP says French President's dreams of EU army are (Image: GETTY•
“He immediately said ‘hmm ok’. I said ‘we were right there for you sacrificing American, Canadian, British and many other lives to give you back your freedom and allow you to stand there and shout at me’.”

Plans for a European army faced a huge boost towards the end of January when Mr Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel followed their renewed commitment to a post-war agreement between the two nations.

Mr Macron claimed the renewed alliance will allow Europe to become the "new shield" against the "tumults in the world".

The French leader argued the two nations' partnership will provide EU citizens with the "real protection" they need.

Merkel gets BOOED as she calls for a European army
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Mr Macron has seen his popularity ratings plunge over the past few weeks following months of crippling and sometimes violent demonstrations by anti-government “yellow vest” activists.

The French President, who in May 2017 was elected with 66.1 percent of the votes, now has the approval of only 25 percent of the population, according to a survey carried out by Odoxa and Dentsu Consulting for franceinfo and the Figaro newspaper.

The so-called “gilets jaunes” protests, which started late last year, began as a movement against Mr Macron's proposed fuel taxes.

However, the movement has even become a wide-ranging anti-establishment platform, with plans to contend in the upcoming European Parliamentary elections.
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