Denmark vows to resist Emmanuel Macron's EU army plans

Mette Frederiksen

Denmark's prime minister has pledged to resist Emmanuel Macron's proposals for an EU military force, stating that she will “go up against those who try to undermine transatlantic cooperation”.

Mette Frederiksen warned that plans for a “stronger Europe” must not come “at the expense of strong transatlantic cooperation”.

Her intervention came after France attempted to use the fallout over the Aukus defence pact between Australia, Britain and the US to bolster its demands for a new EU military force.

Prominent EU figures are calling for a unit of up to 20,000 troops able to deploy quickly across the globe, with officials expected to present a draft proposal for a “first-entry force” in November.

Mr Macron has previously said that Europe had to be able “to defend itself better alone”.

But, earlier this month, Jens Stoltenberg, Nato's secretary general, warned in an interview with this newspaper that the proposals risked overstretching the “scarce resources” of Nato allies, weakening the transatlantic alliance and “dividing Europe”.

'Undermining transatlantic cooperation'

Asked about Mr Macron's plans for the EU to operate more independently on defence issues, Ms Frederiksen told Politiken, a Danish broadsheet: “I would also like to say quite clearly that I will at all times go up against those who try to undermine transatlantic cooperation – whether it happens in Europe or at home in Denmark.

“The most important, stand-alone explanation for the fact that Danes, Europeans and Americans have been able to live in safety and security for decades is the transatlantic cooperation that grew out of the ashes of the world wars.

“It is, by volume, the strongest alliance for democracy and freedom and fundamental human rights, and it must not be undermined by thoughts of a stronger Europe at the expense of strong transatlantic cooperation.”

The remarks by Ms Frederiksen, who has been Denmark's leader since 2019, chime with those of Mr Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister.

In an interview with The Telegraph earlier this month, Mr Stoltenberg said that while he welcomed “more European efforts on defence … that can never replace Nato and we need to make sure that Europe and North America band together. Any attempt to weaken the bond between North America and Europe will not only weaken Nato, it will divide Europe.”

Last week an ally of Mr Macron suggested that France could effectively share its United Nations Security Council seat with other EU leaders if they back the French president's plans for an EU military force. The claims were denied by the Elysée.

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