In a tweet shared this morning, the French President reminded his followers of his pledges, four years ago, for a stronger EU. Sharing his government’s manifesto plan for more integration in the Brussels bloc, he wrote: “An initiative for a sovereign, united and democratic Europe. This is what we launched at the Sorbonne four years ago.
“We have come a long way.”
The manifesto called for a “real European sovereignty” alongside a project for a united defence and military power for the bloc.
It called for the “creation of the first common military budget for defence, endowed with 8 billion euros” and “a common strategic culture”.
Four years after he was elected, Macron is still fighting for the creation of an EU army.
His dream for a European defence strategy has been accelerated by a recent deal signed between the UK, the US and Australia, which left France short of a lucrative contract for the production of submarines.
Paris described the deal as a “stab in the back” after it led to Canberra pulling out of a £30 billion agreement for France to supply conventionally powered diesel-electric vessels.
Macron told Boris Johnson to come up with ideas to repair relations between London and Paris, when the Prime Minister tried to smooth over tensions provoked by the row.
The talks appeared to be a bid by Mr Johnson to calm the tensions that had only been heightened by his use of inflammatory language in response to France recalling ambassadors and postponing high-level meetings.
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Mr Macron’s office said the Prime Minister had requested the call and “expressed his intention to restore co-operation between France and the United Kingdom”, including on the climate crisis, terrorism and the Indo-Pacific region.
The French president told Mr Johnson that “he is awaiting his proposals”, the Elysee added in its brief statement.
Downing Street’s description of the call was more muted than France’s, with No 10 saying the men discussed “a range of issues of mutual interest”, including military co-operation through Nato.
“They reaffirmed the importance of the UK-France relationship and agreed to continue working closely together around the world on our shared agenda, through Nato and bilaterally,” No 10 said.
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They also discussed the “strategic significance of our long-standing co-operation in the Indo-Pacific”, with Aukus widely seen as an attempt to counter China’s assertiveness.
Buoyed by a positive meeting with US president Joe Biden, Mr Johnson stoked tensions further earlier this week by using “Franglais” to tell Mr Macron he should “prenez un grip” and give him a “break”.
It also emerged that Mr Biden and the Prime Minister discussed further deepening the Aukus pact, while maintaining that further allies, including France, would not be able to join.
Mr Johnson raised the possibility of it being extended to include technology, such as cyber and artificial intelligence, and said that he and Mr Biden had been “taken aback” by the angry reaction from Paris.
People familiar with UK Government thinking said the men also spoke about deepening the pact to collaborate on other areas such as principles on open markets, enhancing non-nuclear deterrents and tackling human rights issues.
There had been some thawing of tensions between the US and France after Mr Macron and Mr Biden held a call.
France committed to sending back its ambassador to Washington next week, having ordered his return in response to the Aukus pact.