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Macron Proposes Giving Nuke Control Over To EU 

Graham Perdue
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Over the last week, French President Emmanuel Macron has advocated for a discussion about incorporating nuclear weapons into a unified European defense strategy. Apparently intended to bolster the continent’s military capabilities, Macron’s suggestion has drawn sharp criticism from both ends of the political spectrum.

Macron described his vision for a robust European defense that includes nuclear weapons. “I am in favor of opening this debate which must include anti-missile defense, the firing of long-range weapons, nuclear weapons for those who have them or who have American nuclear weapons on their soil,” he told reporters.

The French President believes that a credible defense against adversaries like Russia could entail deploying long-range missiles and, more controversially, the strategic use of nuclear arms. He emphasized that France’s nuclear doctrine allows for such use when the nation’s vital interests, which now purportedly include a European dimension, are threatened.

Macron’s stance has escalated political tensions, especially as the European Union parliamentary elections approach. François-Xavier Bellamy, leader of the center-right Les Républicains has disagreed vocally, stressing the danger Macron is presenting to national sovereignty. “A French head of state should not say that,” Bellamy said in a radio interview last week.

Echoing Bellamy’s concerns, Thierry Mariani, a member of the conservative populist National Rally, took to the X platform, formerly Twitter, to voice his alarm. “Macron is becoming a national danger,” Mariani posted. He also described concerns that Macron is leading France toward losing its permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council in favor of EU control of that vote in Brussels.

The left has not remained silent either. Bastien Lachaud, a La France Insoumise party deputy, criticized Macron for undermining France’s strategic autonomy. “Under the cover of defending European soil, Macron wants to liquidate French strategic autonomy,” Lachaud declared on X, opposing the idea of a shared nuclear deterrent.

Following the United Kingdom’s exit from the bloc, France is the only EU member state with nuclear capabilities. Historically, France has employed a minimum deterrence strategy, maintaining a relatively small arsenal of approximately 290 nuclear weapons. This approach is predicated on the belief that precision strikes could effectively deter major powers like Russia from aggression. 


Many are now concerned that Macron is poised to hand over that more conservative approach to an unpredictable EU parliament that could exert unwarranted control over French nuclear weapons.