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    A protester carries a picture of French president Macron depicted as king Louis XIV during a protest in Paris, France, Saturday, May 5, 2018

    Macron's Joint EU Defense Plan May Add Unnecessary Complications - Politician

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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The joint European defense force initiative proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron would add further complications to the European defense system, rather than freeing France from the dictate of NATO and the United States, Damien Lempereur, the spokesman for Debout la France! political movement told Sputnik.

    "He [Macron] makes European defense even more complicated, with incomprehensible chains of command between NATO, the European Union defense group [European Defense Agency] and his new initiative at three [members: France, Germany, the United Kingdom]," Lempereur said.

    The movement spokesman noted that his party would like "a multipolar world wherein France will play a role and collaborate with the other European nation-states, but not be a tool at the service of NATO and the USA."

    According to Jiri Mastalka, a Czech member of the European Parliament, Macron's idea could succeed if Europe invited Russia to join "in creating an alternative to the world controlled and dominated by the USA."

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    Janice Atkinson, an independent member of the European Parliament, pointed out that Germany was not spending 2 percent of its GDP on defense, as suggested by the NATO guidelines, and Berlin should not think that it can diminish this responsibility by joining the new defense force proposed by Macron.

    "If the others, such as Germany, think they can back out of their obligations because they pay more to the EU and think they are safe, they are delusional. An EU Army is not the way forward. We have played too many roles in foreign wars that have backfired on us," Atkinson told Sputnik.

    According to the politician, the European Union should boost border protection and drop the Schengen agreement, which set up a visa-free zone in Europe.

    Atkinson stressed that the United Kingdom was making the required contribution to NATO and was aware of the role that the alliance, rather than the European Union, had been playing in maintaining security in Europe.

    "Any outside threats will be dealt with by NATO. I have no faith in Macron or his predecessors because they are responsible for the on-going migrant crisis and open borders," Atkinson said.

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    Macron originally suggested that the joint defense force should complement NATO rather than replace the alliance.

    In September 2017, Macron laid out his plan for EU reforms, suggesting, among other things, that the European Union should have a joint intervention force.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, published on Sunday, that she was supportive of the idea, and added that she would be open to the United Kingdom joining Germany and France in the project after Brexit.

    UK Minister of State for Defense Frederick Curzon said earlier in May that the United Kingdom was also in favor of the initiative.

    The views and opinions expressed by Damien Lempereur are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    defense, NATO, Emmanuel Macron, Germany, United States, France
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