French President Emanuel Macron said European Union nations must continue efforts to become independent from the U.S. in the areas of defense and finance even after President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day Business lobby calls for administration to 'pump the brakes' on vaccine mandate Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Afghanistan reckoning shows no signs of stopping MORE takes office.
“The United States will only respect us as allies if we are earnest, and if we are sovereign with respect to our defense,” Macron told French policy journal Le Grand Continent, according to Bloomberg. “We need to continue to build our independence for ourselves.”
Macron also reportedly cited the U.S. dollar’s status as a worldwide reserve currency, which he noted left Europe at an economic disadvantage in disagreements over the Iran nuclear agreement, which the U.S. exited in 2018.
The French president has frequently opined that Europe should take the lead on building up independent defense and foreign policies. He said last year that EU countries are over-reliant on the U.S. and NATO, saying the latter was experiencing “brain death.”
Macron in the new interview also pushed back on German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s claim that Europe was incapable of doing what the U.S. does to maintain European security.
“That it is a historical misinterpretation,” he said, according to Bloomberg. “Fortunately, if I understood things correctly, [German Chancellor Angela Merkel] does not share this point of view.”
In the same interview, Macron addressed the logistical hurdles to rolling out a coronavirus vaccine within the EU.
“There is going to be ‘vaccine diplomacy,’ that is to say that everyone is going to want to wave their flag and say: 'I found it,' ” he told the publication.
He also cited the U.S., Russia and China as countries who may not “want to come on board” to treat the vaccine as a public good, Bloomberg noted.