French President Emmanuel Macron wants to expand his country’s military cooperation with European partners and especially Germany. Many of these partners have joined the French vision of sovereign European defense, Macron said on Wednesday in Toulon in southern France. “First of all, it is our will to strengthen our connection with Germany, an indispensable partner with whom we are involved in profound programs.”

The armed forces of both countries are designed to complement each other and share industrial expertise, operational knowledge and strategic ambitions. “And on the balance of our partnership, I believe, part of the success of the European project depends,” said Macron. “And I hope that we can make significant progress in this regard over the next few weeks.”

No agreement on air defense yet

Macron was critical of the project for better European air defense that Germany and other countries had launched, and which France has not yet joined. The air defense of the continent is a strategic and solidarity issue on which the sovereignty of Europe depends and which leads to the promotion of a national industry or that of another country. “So it deserves an inclusive, in-depth approach, based on a strategic analysis that includes all aspects of our defence.” From a German perspective, the Israeli Air Defense System Arrow 3 is an option for the protective shield.

Macron stressed France’s willingness to protect Europe with its nuclear weapons. “Today, even more so than yesterday, vital French interests have a European dimension. Our nuclear forces therefore contribute to the security of France and Europe through their existence.”