Emmanuel Macron Says Europe ‘Can No Longer Rely’ on the U.S. for Defense

August 27, 2018, 4:45 PM UTC

French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday that Europe “can no longer rely on the United States for its security,” CNN reports. “It is up to us today to take our responsibilities and guarantee our own security, and thus have European sovereignty,” he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump has long been critical of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, saying the other member states need to increase their defense spending to be closer to that of the United States. At a NATO summit in Brussels earlier this summer, Trump reportedly threatened to pull the U.S. out of the alliance over the matter.

Macron is taking that threat seriously. In Paris, he told an assembly of international relations experts, lawmakers, and diplomats that he wants to launch an “exhaustive review” of security with all European partners, including Russia.

Macron’s goals for European security are similar to those of German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who, according to the South China Morning Post, recently said Europe should “take an equal share of the responsibility” and “form a counterweight” to Washington.

Macron will head to Denmark and Finland Tuesday to promote his European reformation.

“We need to take new initiatives, build new alliances,” he said, according to the South China Morning Post. “France wants a Europe which protects, even as extremism has grown stronger and nationalism has awoken.”

Macron also addressed the Syrian conflict, saying that the situation is “threatening to create another humanitarian crisis.” Macron also said that showing support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would be a “grave mistake,” but he considers Daesh (Islamic State) the “principal enemy.”