July 26, 2021

The subtle differences of Emmanuel Macron compared to Joe Biden

Common house, separate rooms. Thus can be summed up the remarks made by Emmanuel Macron, Thursday, June 10, about the desired relations between Europeans and the United States. The common home is that of the transatlantic alliance, based on shared democratic values, again promoted after the departure of Donald Trump. But Europeans, according to the French president, have grown enough in recent years, aware of their vulnerabilities and their own interests, to no longer believe in the virtues of a simple return to the American fold, as soon as Joe Biden finds himself to the White House.

Speaking at a press conference at the Elysee Palace, the French president wanted to draw an overall coherence to his foreign policy and specify his priorities, at the dawn of a very dense international sequence, with the summit of the G7 this weekend, followed on June 14 by that of NATO. While welcoming the reunion with the United States and the rehabilitation of multilateral work, on the occasion of Joe Biden’s first tour on the continent, Mr. Macron has outlined, over the course of his interventions, all the nuances of method and background that distinguish it from its counterpart.

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Affirm the sovereignty of the EU

The first objective that he sets himself, by approaching these two diplomatic meetings, is to assert the sovereignty of the European Union (EU), its refusal of an automatic alignment with Washington, in particular in the confrontation with Beijing. Mr. Macron wants “That our partners recognize this new European situation and that we know how to build a new partnership with the United States. (…) that we can also have our way, community of values ​​but independence when it comes to our strategy with regard to China ”. Further clarifying his thoughts on this point, the President declared that ” line ” he would plead “Is neither to be vassalized by China nor to be aligned on this subject with the United States of America”.

The Head of State was even clearer on this geopolitical dimension when he mentioned the NATO summit. No question of reorienting the organization against Beijing, for the benefit of Washington. “For my part, China is not part of the Atlantic geography, or else my map has a problem”, he said. In Brussels, Mr. Macron plans “An elephant in the room”, that is to say the very abrupt American announcement of a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan, without real consultation with the European allies. The Head of State once again called for a “Very great strategic clarification” of NATO and the establishment of a ” rule of conduct ” between members, clear reference to Turkey. Emmanuel Macron will meet Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Brussels, just before the summit.

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