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Macron on Europe's defense: 'We are not equipped to face the risks'

by Kateryna Hodunova April 26, 2024 12:12 AM 2 min read
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to the media at the end of an EU Summit in the Justus Lipsius building, the EU Council headquarters on March 22, 2024, in Brussels, Belgium. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
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French President Emmanuel Macron on April 25 urged other European Union states to strengthen their defenses and to reconsider their role on the global stage.

"There is a risk our Europe could die. We are not equipped to face the risks," Macron said during a speech at the Sorbonne University in Paris.

Macron stressed that Europe now "lacks ambition" and operates "too slowly" in a fast-changing world full of challenges such as war, increasing trade competition, and energy scarcity, among others.

Europe is now "divided," he said, and needs to become a superpower that can defend its borders with less reliance on the United States.

The EU must become capable of defending its interests "alone if it is necessary," and be ready to prove that it is "never a vassal of the U.S.," he said.

Europe is between war and peace, Macron said, reminding his audience that Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine has entered its third year.

"Our ability to ensure our security is at stake," Macron added. "Russia must not be allowed to win."

Macron also called on EU states to boost European cybersecurity capacity, close defense ties with the U.K., establish a European academy to train high-ranking military personnel, and ramp up European defense production.

"We must produce more, we must produce faster, and we must produce as Europeans," Macron said.

Macron in recent months has become outspoken on European defense issues, championing increases in defense production and military aid to Ukraine.

In March, Macron called Russia's invasion of Ukraine "existential" for France and Europe. Later, Macron said he would not rule out the possibility of sending Western troops to Ukraine.

Opinion: Troops in Ukraine? France-Germany spat plays into Putin’s hands
Whoever doubts that Europe is in danger of an ominous divergence on Russia and Ukraine should take a look at the forced smiles of the “triple handshake” between German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk when they met in Berlin last Friday,…
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