EU army one step closer as no limits Macron wins Brussels crown after French election

Emmanuel Macron vows to represent all French people

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The French President defeated far-right candidate Marine Le Pen on Sunday with 58.5 percent of the votes against 41.4 percent for the National Rally leader. European Union leaders were quick to congratulate President Macron on his election victory.

European Council President Charles Michel, as well as the prime ministers of Belgium and Luxembourg, were among the first to congratulate Mr Macron, followed by almost all of the bloc’s 27 leaders.

“Bravo Emmanuel,” Mr Michel wrote on Twitter. “In this turbulent period, we need a solid Europe and a France totally committed to a more sovereign and more strategic European Union.”

After Britain’s surprise vote to quit the EU and the election of Donald Trump in the United States in 2016, the bloc was alarmed by Ms Le Pen’s potentially explosive social and economic reforms, even if polls showed Macron winning in Sunday’s second round.

France, a founding member of the EU, has been at the centre of efforts to integrate Europe since the end of World War Two, although such policies have been divisive.

For all the sighs of relief, more than half of French voters supported candidates in the first round of the election who are critical of the EU.

The French leader is now expected to push even further with his pro-EU agenda.

Speaking to Express.co.uk ahead of the election, Generation Frexit leader Charles-Henri Gallois said: “I think he will go even further on the EU.

“He will start with the EU army maybe.

“He will have no limits.”

The French President and EU Commissioner Josep Borrell have been pushing for the bloc to build its own EU army in a bid to rely less on American and other non-EU NATO allies.

Mr Macron also renewed his ambition for an EU army when the UK, Australia and the US signed a new partnership to counteract threats in the Indo-Pacific, leaving France short of a lucrative submarines deal with Australia.

Last year, the French President said that Europe needed to stop being naive when it comes to defending its interests and must build its own military capacity after sealing a 3 billion euros frigate deal with Greece and penning a cooperation agreement.

He said: “The Europeans must stop being naive.

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“When we are under pressure from powers, which at times harden (their stance), we need to react and show that we have the power and capacity to defend ourselves.

“Not escalating things, but protecting ourselves.

“This isn’t an alternative to the United States alliance.

“It’s not a substitution, but to take responsibility of the European pillar within NATO and draw the conclusions that we are asked to take care of our own protection.”

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