Macron on Arms Race: European States ‘Cannot Remain Spectators’ in an Increasingly Unstable World


Fears of an international nuclear arms race have been allayed with the end of the Cold War, but re-emerged as the United States under Donald Trump pulled out of several arms control treaties with Russia, including one that prohibited nuclear-capable missiles.

President Emmanuel Macron stated that European countries should act proactively in the face of a nuclear arms race as he laid out France’s nuclear weapons strategy.

Speaking to military officers in Paris on Friday, Macron called on EU member states to propose an a “international arms control agenda”.

He also suggested that Europeans should “not confine themselves to a role of spectators” at a time when the existing non-proliferation treaties are being called into question.

“Europeans must collectively realise that, in the absence of a legal framework, they could quickly face a new conventional or even nuclear arms race on their soil.”

Macron has dedicated much of his attention as president to modernising France’s and Europe’s military strategy. He has proposed a “true European army” to cut reliance on the United States, launched a military space force command and suggested a military intervention force outside of NATO, known as European Intervention Initiative, already joined by 14 European states.

The Macron government also plans to spend €37 billion ($41bn) to upgrade and maintain its nuclear arsenal over the next seven years —…

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