Charles Michel: Europe warming up to Macron’s ‘strategic autonomy’ push away from U.S.

European leaders are becoming increasingly favorable toward French President Emmanuel Macron’s push for “strategic autonomy” away from the United States, European Council boss Charles Michel said.

As controversy swells around Macron’s comments that Europe should resist pressure to become “America’s followers,” Michel suggested that the French politician’s position was not isolated among EU leaders. While Macron spoke as the French president, his views reflect a growing shift among EU leaders, Michel said.

“There has been a leap forward on strategic autonomy compared to several years ago,” Michel told French television show La Faute à l’Europe (which has a partnership with POLITICO) in an interview.

“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. Some European leaders wouldn’t say things the same way that Emmanuel Macron did… I think quite a few really think like Emmanuel Macron.”

Following a trip last week to China with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Macron told POLITICO and French newspaper ‘Les Echos’ that Europe had to limit its dependency on the United States and avoid getting pulled into “crises that are not ours.”

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