Warsaw, Poland – Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has criticized Emmanuel Macron for undermining NATO, which the French President called ‘brain-dead’ in a recent interview with The Economist, and for failing to meet its defence obligations.
In an interview with the Financial Times, the Polish Premier reminded that NATO was “the most important alliance in the world when it comes to preserving freedom and peace”, on obvious rebuke to Macron’s call for Europe to take back “control of [its] destiny” and stop relying on the U.S. for its security.
“I think President Macron’s doubts about [NATO’s mutual defence clause] can make other allies wonder if perhaps it is France that has concerns about sticking to it. I hope that we can still count on France fulfilling its obligations”, he added.
PM Morawiecki, whose country is one of the rare EU country to meet NATO’s defence expenditure targets, also used the opportunity to call on European partners to ramp up their defence spending and scold France, among other countries that spend less than 2% of their GDP on defence.
“France is spending below 2% of GDP [on defence]… I think it’s worth asking why certain aspects of NATO do not look as we wish. And it’s not for the lack of U.S. commitment to the alliance, but rather the lack of reciprocity on the part of some European allies”, the Polish Prime Minister said, also putting into question Macron’s recent diplomatic push to restore relations with Moscow.
“President Macron is in a different position because he does not feel the hot breath of the Russian bear on his neck”.
On Sunday, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also warned Macron against undermining the credibility of the North Atlantic Alliance: “It would be a mistake if we undermined NATO. Without the United States, neither Germany nor Europe will be able to effectively protect themselves”, he wrote in Der Spiegel.
The French President’s comments about NATO’s ‘brain-death’ have been met with a mix of scepticism and anger across Europe, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe which still sees NATO, and the U.S., as the main guarantor of their security, and calls for an independent European defence policy as unrealistic.
A founding member of NATO, France withdrew from its Integrated Military Command Structure in 1966, under then President Charles de Gaulle, before returning in 2009.