Emmanuel Macron’s EU army plans handed major boost – poll finds support growing

Emmanuel Macron: France is a nation of 'prosecutors'

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An EU army has long been contemplated in the bloc with French President Emmanuel Macron, being a key supporter of any plan. In a boost to the EU’s plans, two-thirds of those surveyed in a poll from the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) think-tank, were supportive of a European-level defence force. In the poll which surveyed 15,000 people, the most supportive of a defence force within the EU were found to be Portugal (72 percent), Sweden (71 percent), Spain (71 percent), France (70 percent) and Poland (69 percent).

This comes in response to many within the poll claiming they could not rely on Washington as a strategic ally.

When asked on their opinion on the EU’s security partnership with the US, just 10 percent viewed the US as a viable partner.

In contrast, of the 10 nations asked, 67 percent across all countries believe their own country could not rely on the US.

Even in the UK, 74 percent of those asked issued their support for a EU-level defence force.

Last week Mr Macron once against issued his support for a new defence strategy which may replace NATO.

During the virtual G7 Summit with other leaders, Mr Macron once again issued his call for Europe to rely on its strategic security rather than the US.

He told the Financial Times: “I am a defender of European sovereignty, of strategic autonomy, not because I’m against NATO or because I doubt our American friends, but because I am lucid on the state of the world.

“Because I think we need a fair sharing of the burden and Europe cannot delegate its protection and the protection of its neighbourhood to the USA and so we have to do it together.

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“Nobody can tell me that today’s NATO is a structure that, in its foundations, is still pertinent.

“It was founded to face down the Warsaw Pact.

“There is no more a Warsaw Pact.”

France’s EU Affairs minister Clement Beaune also echoed calls for an EU defence force amid the threats from China and Russia.

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He said: “The Americans want to do less for European defence, the French want to do more for European defence.

“I think that’s the big European project for the years to come.

“Our European partners are close to this path.”

Previously, Mr Macron had stated NATO was becoming braindead as the US turned its back on the security alliance.

Much to the anger of some Eastern European states, Mr Macron had also tried to forge greater ties with Russia.

Prior to his remarks on NATO, the President also called for an EU army amid the breakdown in talks between Donald Trump and Russia over the 1987 nuclear treaty.

He said in 2018: “Who is the main victim? Europe and its security.

“I want to build a real security dialogue with Russia, which is a country I respect, a European country – but we must have a Europe that can defend itself on its own without relying only on the United States.”

The poll by the think-tank was released today with polling in eleven European countries conducted through Datapraxis and YouGov in late November and early December 2020.

The countries polled were Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Great Britain.

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