French President Emmanuel Macron, during a meeting with EU defense ministers on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show, urges military equipment manufacturers to develop warfare systems independent from US systems.
French President Emmanuel Macron has urged European nations to establish independent air defenses and reduce EU reliance on US equipment during the one-day summit of defense ministers and senior military leaders from 20 European nations in Paris.
“We need to know what the threat situation is…And then, what are we, Europeans, able to produce? And what do we then need to buy?” Macron stressed on Monday.
Macron recommended that European military equipment manufacturers develop independent warfare systems and shift production to the continent, while also advocating for higher European standards and cautioning participants against buying “what’s on the shelves.”
“Why do we still need to buy American too often? Because Americans have standardized much more than we have, and they themselves have federal agencies that provide massive subsidies to their manufacturers,” Macron explained.
Sources have reported that the event covered topics that emphasized the necessity of developing anti-drone systems and ballistic missile defense, especially noting the lessons learned from the war in Ukraine.
A day earlier, French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu called for the meeting after France felt snubbed by a German-led plan that isolated its manufacturers.
Lecornu announced that it will not only include about 20 EU members, but will also include the European Commission’s internal market chief Thierry Breton.
While German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius had been reluctant to join his EU counterparts, he later confirmed his attendance, a French government source told AFP.
In a piece he wrote for Le Figaro, Lecornu explained, “It has become imperative for Europe to build an independent strategy for defending its airspace,” and warned of “new threats”.
Earlier in October, a meeting was called by Germany in which the German-led European Sky Shield plan was launched, and of which 16 NATO countries and Sweden had planned to use German, US, and Israeli equipment.
At the time, France was not among those who joined the initiative, given that Paris aimed to promote its own medium-range anti-air missiles, which meant that massive contracts were at stake. According to media sources, Germany and France alone have been anticipated to spend on air defense about 10 billion euros by 2030.