Macron Says Europe Can’t Go Back to Relying on U.S. Under Biden

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French President Emmanuel Macron said the European Union must push on with its efforts to develop the capacity to act independently in technology, international finance and defense.

In an interview with Le Grand Continent, a Paris-based policy journal, Macron said that EU leaders mustn’t let the defeat of Donald Trump persuade them that they can return to relying on the U.S. to underwrite European security and to defend the bloc’s interests.

“The United States will only respect us as allies if we are earnest, and if we are sovereign with respect to our defence,” Macron said. “We need to continue to build our independence for ourselves.”

As examples of EU vulnerabilities, Macron pointed to recent developments in cloud computing services that could leave European data subject to U.S. law and the tensions over the Iran nuclear accord, in which the Trump administration had leverage over the Europeans because of the dollar’s status as a global reserve currency. He also attacked German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer who argued earlier this month that it’s an “illusion” to think the EU can replace the U.S.’s role in upholding security on the continent.

“That it is a historical misinterpretation,” he said. “Fortunately, if I understood things correctly, the chancellor does not share this point of view” — a reference to German leader Angela Merkel.

Macron is due to meet U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Monday though they aren’t due to make any public statements.

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