Video Duration 25 minutes 00 seconds
From: Inside Story

Does Europe need its own army?

French President Emmanuel Macron has suggested creating a European army, saying the continent cannot rely on the US.

French President Emmanuel Macron and his US counterpart, Donald Trump, have been at odds on many issues.

This week, that divide stretched further when Macron appeared to call for the creation of a European army in an interview on French radio, saying that the continent could no longer rely on the support of the United States in defence matters.

In the same interview, Macron also spoke about cybersecurity threats and France having “to protect [itself] with respect to China, Russia and even the United States” – comments that were apparently taken out of context by many, including Trump, amid suggestions in media reports that the French president had named the three countries as military threats.

But the two leaders differ on much more than just defence.

Trump has pulled out of a number of global treaties, from the Paris climate agreement to the Iran nuclear deal and recently announced plans to withdraw from a decades-old nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia.

Meanwhile, Macron has repeatedly emphasised the need for a global order and the rejection of nationalism. 

He did so again during Sunday’s remembrance ceremony in Paris to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

But can Europe do without the US in matters of defence?

Presenter: Richelle Carey


Renaud Girard – chief foreign correspondent at Le Figaro newspaper

David DesRoches – associate professor at the National Defense University and former Pentagon official

Glenn Diesen – professor of international relations at Higher School of Economics in Moscow