Emmanuel Macron's comments on Taiwan caused a stir. They also drew attention to EU strategic autonomy, a pet project he has promoted for years. But how realistic is it?
It has been six years since French President Emmanuel Macron publicly discussed the concept of sovereignty in the European Union (EU) during a speech at the Sorbonne University in Paris. In the EU, the term strategic autonomy is more often used when speaking of the idea, which has been around for a while. The concept basically means the ability to act autonomously and independently of other countries in strategically important areas, as the EU Parliament's Think Tank explains.
On the return flight of his recent China visit, the French president again spoke with international media about the concept. During the interview he made remarks about Taiwan, causing a stir in the United States and Europe. His words were understood to be a call for the EU to reduce its dependence on the US and a warning against being drawn into a crisis over Taiwan.
Earlier this week, the French president gave another sampling of his vision for a sovereign Europe. In a speech in The Hague, Netherlands, on Tuesday, Macron focused on the economic side of the strategic autonomy concept. But can his ideas really be implemented?