"The [upcoming NATO] summit must deliver a political clarification on the role and strategic priorities of the alliance. The summit must lead to enhanced cohesion within the alliance. We have to be clear amongst ourselves on the values, principles, rules that underpin our alliance", the French president said.
Macron made his remarks during a meeting with the alliance's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the Elysee Palace. Stoltenberg had earlier criticized President Macron over his 2019 comment that NATO was “brain dead", as the US under President Donald Trump was scaling down its defense commitments in Europe. The French president backtracked on his statements after the inauguration of Joe Biden.
President Biden stressed a month after assuming office that "America is back" to upholding its commitments, referring to the role of the U.S. in Europe, within the NATO framework.
Trump had complained that none of NATO´s European members were committed to meeting the voluntary goal of spending 2% of GDP on defense matters, while Washington was covering a significant part of the defense needs of Europe. He also took steps to reduce the American military presence in Europe, ordering to halve the number of troops deployed in Germany shortly before leaving office in January 2021.
Despite Trump´s redeployment orders towards the end of his mandate, the implementation of this policy was put on hold by the Biden administration, which announced plans to review them. The new head of the White House reversed many of his predecessor's policies and specifically promised to have greater engagement with U.S. allies in Europe.