France and Germany have repeatedly demanded that Europe reduce its military and financial dependence on the US.
The EU needed "strategic autonomy" for defense in times when the US "turned its back on" its old ally, French President Emmanuel Macron said in Paris on Monday (27 August)
In financial systems to avoid US pressure on European companies, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the same day.
"We need strategic autonomy and defense to respond to new threats … Europe can no longer have its security in the hands of the United States alone," Macron said in a broad speech to French diplomats.
"The partner with which Europe has built the multilateral post-war order seems to be turning its back on this common history," he added in a lawsuit about the decline in transatlantic relations under US President Donald Trump.
Trump had questioned NATO, launched a trade war with the EU and torn international agreements, such as the Iran nuclear arms control treaty and the Paris Climate Agreement, Macron said.
He said the EU "never made so fast" in defense integration as it did last year, with the creation of joint military projects and budget lines.
His call to go further would give Europe a greater role in conflicts in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond Africa, the French leader said, citing Libya, Syria and the Sahel as priorities.
But an autonomous EU would also play a bigger role on the geopolitical stage, which would mean a "reorientation of the world order," Macron said.
"I really do not believe that China or the United States of America think today that Europe is a power with strategic autonomy comparable to it, I do not think so," he said.
The EU should also build new relations with Russia and Turkey, Macron added.
"Substantial efforts to resolve the Ukrainian crisis … will of course be a prerequisite for real progress with Moscow," he warned, pointing to EU sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also developed into a "pan-Islamic project that is regularly presented as anti-European and whose regular actions are more against our principles," he added.
But "we need to build a strategy of partnership with Russia and Turkey because they are two important forces for our collective security because they need to be tied to Europe," said the French leader.
Macron's vision of a changing world order was repeated when the German foreign minister wrote in the Handelsblatt the same day
"Trump could inadvertently be the driving force behind the birth of a new Western order," Heiko said Maas.
But the forces that make up the events are greater than that, he added.
"The fact that the Atlantic has expanded politically is by no means only thanks to Donald Trump. The US and Europe have drifted apart for years. The intersection of values and interests that have shaped our relationship for two generations is diminishing. "The German minister said
" Now it is important, step by step, to establish a European Security and Defense Union as part of transatlantic security and security
A "sovereign, strong Europe" could "counterbalance if the US crosses the borderline" in defense of the rule of law "in the international arena, Mass said.
He responded to US threats against enemy EU companies doing business in Iran after Trump negotiated a deal to freeze his nuclear program in return for lifting the sanctions.
The EU must show "that we do not allow ourselves to go beyond our heads and at our expense, so it was right to protect European companies legally from sanctions," Maas said.
"It is therefore important that we strengthen European autonomy by setting up payment channels independent of the US, a European Monetary Fund and an independent Swift system," said the German minister with reference to Belgian-based global company Swift International Bank Transfers
"With Germany, we are determined to work on an independent European or German-French financing instrument that would enable us to avoid the collateral sacrifices of extraterritorial US sanctions," said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire
] EU fascination
Macron told the French ambassadors that the "contemporary American position", as well as Brexit, and the rise of populism in the EU stemmed from a "discomfort with contemporary globalization".
He reiterated his call, which was first held last year in a speech at the University of Sorbonne in Paris, for a "fuller, more ambitious [and] … unified Europe" in response to the trends.
He warned UK that a Brexit deal "can not be at the expense of the integrity of the European Union".
He complained that some EU countries, such as Hungary and Italy, had developed "fascinations" with "illiberal democracy" and "xenophobic rhetoric".
But populist leaders also warned him against possible pressure from the EU budget
"Viktor Orban's Hungary was never against Europe's structural funds or the common agricultural policy, but it is against Europe when it comes to making big talk about Christianity to hold, "Macron said, looking at Hungary's law. Prime Minister and EU subsidies to poor and rural regions.
"Italy is against Europe, which shows no solidarity in terms of migration, but for European structural funds," said Macron.