Revived 10 Nation European Military Coalition: Macron ahead of NATO summit ramps up calls for EU army
EMMANUEL MACRON is ramping up his calls for a European army ahead of crunch summit of Nato leaders.
By JOE BARNES, BRUSSELS CORRESPONDENT PUBLISHED: 12:08, Mon, Nov 18, 2019 | UPDATED: 15:29, Mon, Nov 18, 2019. Express.co.uk
The French President raised eyebrows when he claimed the trans-Atlantic military alliance was suffering from “brain death”. In an interview, he cast doubt over whether the US would honour its Article (5) commitment – the mutual defence clause that underpins Nato – as he pushed for a European Union defence force. He told the Economist magazine that he believes Donald Trump is behind the alliance’s shortfalls because of the US President’s unilateral approach.
But his comments prompted public backlash. The most high-profile critic, Angela Merkel, condemned his “drastic words”.
Privately European sources have indicated many of Mr Macron’s concerns with Nato are valid and believes EU countries could join him.
Last Tuesday, the French leader supplemented his assault on the alliance during a speech at the Paris Peace Forum.
He said: “The first risk is laziness, telling ourselves ‘we have institutions that we like, let’s not question them. They sometimes lost their purpose, no one understands where they’re headed but let’s hide this.”
“I think we need truth,” he added.
“Prudishness or hypocrisy don’t work nowadays, because citizens see it. We live in an open world … When it doesn’t work they tell us. So hypocrisy and silence are not a solution. Intellectual laziness of action doesn’t work.”
Luxembourg foreign minister Jean Asselborn backed Mr Macron, insisting some of Nato’s “values” do not match European ideals.
Mr Asselborn said: “I come from a country that is incapable of defending itself; I think even Europe is not able to defend itself. Therefore, the EU would be well advised to stay engaged with Nato.”
He added: “What has happened recently, what a NATO country (Turkey) has done in Syria, this does not correspond to the values many people believe should prevail in Nato.
“There is no need to view what is happening as self-defence and if there is no coordination within Nato in such important questions, then we must ask ourselves how it is possible to respond to an independent action by the United States without any coordination with Europe. (1. ‘acting with one mind of purpose)
“In this respect President Macron is right when he is attacking the level of coordination (2. ‘acting with one mind of purpose’) in NATO with his words.”
EU diplomats have also thrown their support the French President’s move towards a European army. (3. ‘acting with one mind of purpose).
One told Politico: “The analysis is pretty much correct. It is the wording that is clearly wrong.”
A second said: “What happened in Syria is clear: two Nato countries didn’t bother to have any coordination.(4. ‘acting with one mind of purpose). And he’s right, we can’t ignore this fact, but the part on Article 5 was wrong. Simply a wrong message.”
But Germany are leading nations who are furious over Mr Macron’s intervention. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Berlin’s defence minister, said France was seeking a “strong European cooperation to replace NATO”. (5. ‘acting with one mind of purpose).
She added: “France has a different military culture than Germany.”
Mr Macron’s dedication to an EU army is evident in France’s leading role in 10 (5+5) of the 13 new initiatives approved by defence ministers last week.
Nato’s 29 leaders will gather in London to mark the alliance’s 70th (7) anniversary on December 3-4. (7 = divine completion of God’s plan or purpose for Nato).
Mr Macron’s comments will likely dominate the agenda, which has already prompted fears of potential clashes between leaders.
Jonathan Eyal, a European security expert at the Royal United Services Institute, said the London summit would “turn the concept of summits on its head”. (upside down).
He added: “At most of these events, despite all the differences, the idea is that getting all the leaders together in one room will help ease these conflicts. “But this time round, most governments seem to be approaching the event with trepidation (fear).
Categories: 10 nation confederation