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News > U.S.

European Union Cannot Blindly Follow Washington: EC President

  • European Council President Charles Michel.

    European Council President Charles Michel. | Photo: Twitter/ @lafautealeurope

Published 14 April 2023

"Europe has allowed itself to be led by the U.S. but we're now beginning to create our own voice and to distance ourselves from the U.S.," an East Asian specialist commented.

On Thursday, European Council President Charles Michel said that European leaders are becoming increasingly supportive of French President Emmanuel Macron's push for "strategic autonomy" away from the United States.


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More and more European Union leaders have echoed Macron's comments that Europe should resist pressure to become "America's followers," Michel told the U.S.-based POLITICO news service.

"On the issue of the relationship with the United States, it's clear that there can be nuances and sensitivities around the table of the European Council... I think quite a few really think like Emmanuel Macron," the European Council president pointed out.

"There is indeed a great attachment that remains present, and Macron has said nothing else, for this alliance with the United States. But if this alliance with the U.S. would suppose that we blindly, systematically follow the position of the U.S. on all issues, no," he said. 

Joaquin Beltran, a professor of East Asian Studies at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, has a similar opinion about the possible evolution of the U.S.-EU relations.

"Europe has allowed itself to be led by the United States but we're now beginning to create our own voice and to distance ourselves from the United States," he said and analyzed the recent trips to China by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Macron.

"Macron has just been to China and has followed the same line as Sanchez, although in a much more assertive way, saying that we have to begin distancing ourselves from what the United States wants," Beltran said.

During Macron's visit, the key topics included the situation in Ukraine and the 12-point peace plan that China unveiled in February. Ending the conflict in Eastern Europe was also high on the agenda during Sanchez's visit.

"There's a type of boycott by the U.S. against any peace initiative because the U.S. does not want there to be peace in Ukraine," Beltran said and argued that while American elites may have an interest in a continuation of the Ukraine conflict, it is not a position shared by China.

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