Emmanuel Macron gets mocked on Australian TV
Emmanuel Macron is spearheading plans for a “European Defence Union” of closer military integration in the wake of the submarine row with Australia and the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.A close ally of the French President has suggested his push for an EU army could result in a serious discussion about the bloc’s representation on the Security Council.Sandro Gozi, an MEP for Mr Macron’s party, said: “I think that if we move on these things we can put on the table also the discussion on the Security Council.”
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And Paris is also pushing for further EU military integration after Australia reneged on its £45 billion contract to buy French-built submarines and signed a security pact with the US and UK instead.
France is the only EU member state to have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council after Brexit.
The EU maintains its observer status, while the UK, US, China and Russia have the four other permanent seats.
Emmanuel Macron could give up France’s UN Security Council seat to Brussels in EU army push (Image: GETTY)
French President Emmanuel Macron (Image: GETTY) Mr Macron is considering plans to share France’s UN seat if he can secure concessions that will make it easier for an EU army to be deployed into conflict zones.
EU nations have so far been unwilling to send troops into battle under an EU flag.
Brussels-led “battlegroups” were agreed in 2007 but have never been used because their deployment requires unanimous support from the 27-member bloc.
Paris believes a Security Council concession could be enough to convince member states to drop their opposition to such plans.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (Image: EbS) During her flagship State of the Union speech, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen accused EU leaders of lacking the “political will” to deploy Brussels-led troops around the world.
She insisted the bloc should be able to send “battlegroups” into conflict zones without the help of the US.
Mrs von der Leyen, a former German defence minister, told MEPs that the abrupt end to the US-led mission in Afghanistan raised questions about the bloc’s capabilities.
She urged EU nations to put aside their long-held reservations about putting boots on the ground and build a “Defence Union”.
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Emmanuel Macron is pushing hard for the creation of an EU army (Image: GETTY) “There will be missions where Nato or the United Nations will not be present but where Europe should be,” Mrs von der Leyen told the EU Parliament in Strasbourg.
She added: “You can have the most advanced forces in the world – but if you are never prepared to use them – of what use are they?
“What has held us back until now is not just a shortfall of capacity – it is the lack of political will.
“And if we develop this political will, there is a lot that we can do at EU level.”
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France takes over the EU’s six-month rotating presidency in January, handing it a key role in the bloc’s decision-making processes.
Mr Macron and Mrs von der Leyen are due to hold a summit of EU leaders to discuss the bloc’s military capabilities.
Mr Gozi told the Telegraph: “This is a unique opportunity for him and for Europe.
“We must be prepared to confirm our transatlantic alliance but also to become adult in terms of our security and take on our responsibility.”
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