European ‘Army’ Wouldn’t Hurt NATO, France’s Macron Says

European ‘Army’ Wouldn’t Hurt NATO, France’s Macron Says

(Bloomberg) -- Greater European military cooperation wouldn’t hurt NATO but would instead “reinforce” the continent’s contribution to the trans-Atlantic security alliance, French President Emmanuel Macron said.

Macron’s call for a European Union “army” and shared procurement has in the past led to squabbles with President Donald Trump, who has interpreted it as an effort to shut out the U.S. -- which provides more than 40% of the military personnel to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Speaking in an interview on a YouTube channel popular among younger French citizens, Macron defined his vision of military cooperation. “We keep our national armies but it means when we decide to do operations together, we have armies that know each other, that have trained together, that know how to work together,” he said.

Macron reiterated opposition to a trade deal with the U.S. over Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and agricultural practices that are barred in Europe. He was more supportive of the EU’s trade pact with Canada because “Canada shares our values.”

The interview was conducted two days before European Union parliament elections across the region, with parties wanting to roll back EU integration poised to make gains. Macron, who favors tighter links between EU nations, chose to do the interview on the “Hugo Decrypte” channel because polls show young people are more likely to abstain than any other age group. “I came here to say ‘go vote,’ no matter who you vote for,” he said. “Otherwise you can’t complain.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Gregory Viscusi in Paris at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at, Steve Geimann, Tony Czuczka

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.