'Europe could die': France's Macron urges leaders to scale up EU defences

French President Emmanuel Macron has urged Europe to rise up to the challenges of a changed world, warning that "our Europe, today, is mortal and it can die".

During a keynote speech at the Sorbonne University on Thursday, Macron appealed for stronger, more integrated European defences.

He said the continent must not become a vassal of the United States, as he outlined his vision for a more assertive European Union on the global stage.

"[Europe] can die and this depends only on our choices," Macron said, warning that Europe was "not armed against the risks we face" in a world where the rules have changed.

"Over the next decade ... the risk is immense of [Europe] being weakened or even relegated," he those attending the event, which was billed as the president's vision for Europe's future.

Macron said Europe needed to emerge from a being "strategic minority" that had left it over-dependent on Russia for energy, and on the United States for security.

He described Russia's behaviour after its invasion of Ukraine as "uninhibited", warning that it was no longer clear where Moscow's limits lie.

'Existential threat'

The French head of state stressed that the sine qua non for European security was "that Russia does not win the war of aggression in Ukraine".

Warning that Europe faced an existential threat from Russian aggression, Macron called on the continent to adopt a "credible" defence strategy less dependent on the United States, adding Europe could not be "a vassal" of the United States.

Read more on RFI English

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