Since French President Emmanuel Macron has certified that NATO has "brain death", there are many controversies about his statements. Also during a meeting with NATO general secretary Jens Stoltenberg in Paris on Thursday, Macron adhered to his diagnosis and asked Tuesday for the NATO summit greater involvement of Russia and greater support in the fight against terrorism:
"Wake-up call" for NATO
Macron himself evaluates his diagnosis of "brain death" as an "alarm clock", as he said after the meeting with Stoltenberg. Given the current security policy challenges, it would be "irresponsible" if the military alliance continued to focus exclusively on financing and technical issues.
"Act instead of words"
"A true alliance is based on action, not words," Macron said. In particular, he called for "greater involvement of allies" in the French operation against jihadists in the Sahel area, where France deployed 4500 troops under the Barkhane operation. In France, requests for military aid from EU partners have become stronger since the death of 13 soldiers in Mali this week.
Russia "no enemy" of NATO
At the same time, despite the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Macron is trying to increase NATO's alignment with Russia. "Russia is our enemy? I don't believe it," Macron said. Macron wants to create a "new architecture of trust and security in Europe". Macron's approach to Russian President Vladimir Putin is viewed with skepticism by NATO partners in Eastern Europe and Germany.
Involvement of Europeans in nuclear disarmament
Macron also called on European countries to start negotiations with Russia and the United States on a new nuclear disarmament treaty. By 1987, the US-Russian INF treaty on dismantling medium-range nuclear missiles had become invalid in the summer. In a letter to Putin, Macron agreed to consider the Russian offer of a moratorium, which NATO has so far rejected.
The EU states as an independent "pillar" of NATO
As a representative of nuclear power, France Macron wants to get NATO's European countries to form an independent "pillar" in NATO and not rely on the United States as a security guarantor, as in its interview with the "Economist" since 7. November carried out.
Germany also sees the need for action
Although Macron's analysis is not in form but partly in terms of content on understanding: for example, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) has admitted that NATO occasionally has "coordination problems". Germany and France agree that Europe must be "more closed, more strategic and more independent in its foreign policy". Maas added: "I am worried about the decoupling of American and European security".
Others are also worried: "In times of uncertainty like these, we need solid multilateral platforms like NATO," said general secretary Stoltenberg in Paris. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has also criticized the "drastic words" Macron, as well as many countries in Eastern Europe. The "New York Times" even quoted the chancellor as saying he had to "paste the cups" that Macron had broken.
In view of this, NATO is trying to limit its damage before the summit on 3 and 4 December. At the NATO Brussels Council last week, there was a positive response to the German proposal to set up an expert group to reform the Alliance. On the other hand, the general secretary Stoltenberg did not comment on an almost identical French plan.