In an interview with the Economist, the President of France Emmanuel Macron called NATO “brain dead”
Asked to comment on Macron’s dismissal of NATO on Friday, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo noted that “… if nations believe that they can get the security benefit without providing NATO with the resources that it needs, if they don’t live up to their commitments, there’s a risk that NATO could become ineffective or obsolete.”
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned France on Sunday against undermining NATO. “Without the United States, neither Germany nor Europe will be able to effectively protect themselves,” Maas wrote in a column published by Der Spiegel magazine.
Washington but also Paris has often noted that Germany fails to meet the 2% of GDP expenditure threshold set by NATO allies.
Nonetheless, Maas called for the creation of a European Security Council in which Britain should also be a member – irrespectively of EU membership – a plan that will be presented in the second half of 2020 during the German EU Presidency.
For her part, the incoming President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday that NATO has proved a superb “shield of freedom”; however, she told an audience in Belin that the EU had to go beyond “soft power” to develop “muscle.”
“Soft power alone won’t suffice today if we Europeans want to assert ourselves in the world. Europe must also learn the language of power,” Von der Leyen said.
However, in opposition to Macron’s position, von der Leyen also noted that the EU cannot only make demands from North Macedonia and Albania but must also honour its obligations.