Merkel and Macron Call for An Integrated EU Military Force
The idea of an integrated, united military for the European Union (EU) was established four years ago by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. More recently, the call for an EU armed forces was proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron and then in a show of solidarity against the reaction from the United States and President Trump, reiterated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
In a speech given at the European Parliament, Merkel addressed several issues facing the EU including the establishment of a European armed forces. Merkel was careful to address the fact that an EU army was a long-term plan and that “no one questioned the alliance” with NATO. Many of Merkel’s remarks about the army were in reaction and allied with Macron who, when speaking about the subject, faced a barrage of negative Tweets from US President Trump. Macron’s speech called for a project for a sovereign Europe able to defend fully defend itself.
Trump Takes to Social Media Against President Macron
Trump made his opinion clear with strongly worded tweets stating that in France, “they were starting to learn German before the U.S. came along” during WWII. Trump assumed that an EU army would be established to protect Europe against the United States, which French officials say was a misunderstanding by the United States. The office of the presidency in France noted that the social media outburst was “made for Americans”. The original speech was intended to show that Europe could meet demands from the United States to rely less on security forces provided by America.
Merkel’s Support for Macron
In Merkel’s speech she proposed that any EU army would be complimentary to NATO, and while accepted by many in the European parliament, several nationalist members did not agree. Merkel also addressed the fact that Europeans would “have to take our destiny into our own hands if we want to survive as a community”.