French PM Macron Says EU Needs to Make Drastic Changes to Survive in Speech

French President Emmanuel Macron made remarks to a gathering of regional newspapers on Sunday that sparked criticism from his opponents in the run-up to the European Union elections in June. Macron suggested that France’s nuclear weapons should be discussed in the context of European defense.

On Thursday, when outlining his vision for a more aggressive EU, Macron was more forceful on defense matters, stating that Europe could die and calling for more robust, more connected European defenses.

In an interview organized by EBRA, a conglomeration of regional media in eastern France, he said that a credible European defense needs to extend beyond the safeguards currently provided by NATO.

If it wants to avoid certain doom, Europe must shed its naiveté. That was the central message of French President Emmanuel Macron’s significant address to the European Union on Thursday in Paris.

While France’s nuclear strategy has always been to use them in response to threats to France’s vital interests, Macron has stated his willingness to add a greater “European dimension” to these concerns.

The French president spent two hours in the auditorium of Sorbonne University arguing that Europe must respond quickly to a changing world.

Macron’s address was touted as a continuation of his historic 2017 Sorbonne speech, in which he first challenged the EU to achieve more economic and defense self-sufficiency shortly after becoming office.

With European elections just around the corner, the address was widely seen as an attempt to revive his Renaissance party’s underwhelming campaign.

The president’s polling currently trails behind Marine Le Pen’s extreme right wing.

He said that Europe needed to establish a viable independent defense to be prepared to go to war without American assistance.

President Macron also said that the European armed forces should not be unified but instead work together toward shared objectives, such as a continental missile shield that may be built in the future. He urged the establishment of a military college across Europe.