French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated his calls for the EU to maintain an independent foreign policy in a Sunday interview for French business daily Les Echo.
“We don’t want to get into a bloc versus bloc logic,” he said, arguing that Europe “should not be caught up in a disordering of the world and crises that aren’t ours.”
The remarks follow a visit to China by Macron and other EU officials which included a meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping. Among other issues, the leaders discussed tensions around Taiwan and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Macron stressed that an escalation on Taiwan was not in the EU’s interest.
“The question asked of us Europeans is the following: is it in our interest for there to be acceleration on the topic of Taiwan? No. The worst thing we Europeans could do would be to be followers on this topic and to adapt to the American rhythm and a Chinese overreaction. Why should we go at a rhythm chosen by someone else?”
Macron calls for EU ‘strategic autonomy’
The French head of state stressed what he considered to be the need for the EU to develop “strategic autonomy,” a term used to refer to the bloc maintaining an independent foreign policy line.
“Europe hadn’t built this strategic autonomy for a long time,” he said. But “now the ideological battle has been won.”
“Five years ago, strategic autonomy was a pipe dream. Now everyone is talking about it,” he said.
Macron said that the EU’s member states should avoid becoming “vassals” and that the bloc could function as a “third pole” in geopolitics alongside the US and China. He warned against following American foreign policy as a “panic reflex.”
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