Following his controversial remarks about Europe’s relations with the United States and China, French President Emmanuel Macron begins an official visit to the Netherlands on Tuesday.
Macron provoked outrage after declaring that Europe must not be a “follower” of either Washington or Beijing when it comes to Taiwan.
Macron, who had just returned from a trip to China. Provoked outrage when he said in an interview published Sunday that Europe must not be a “follower” of either Washington or Beijing on Taiwan.
His remarks threaten to overshadow a two-day visit to the Netherlands. Which intended to highlight a new dynamic between Paris and The Hague following Brexit.
Macron, joined by his wife Brigitte and seven ministers, will lunch with Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima. Visit the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and meet Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on a canal boat.
All eyes on Macron’s speech
But all eyes will be on the French president’s speech on “European sovereignty” on security and economic matters at the Dutch Nexus institute in The Hague on Tuesday afternoon.
He plans to use the speech to offer “a doctrine of economic security” against China and the US, amid European concerns about US climate subsidies.
Macron stated in an interview with the French business newspaper Les Echos and Politico, that “we don’t want to rely on others on critical issues.” Naming energy, artificial intelligence, and social networks.
Macron’s words in the same interview on Taiwan that Europe risks being entangled in “crises that aren’t ours”. And should “depend less on the Americans” in areas of defence have sparked concerns, as have his previous views on Ukraine.
Despite Macron’s remarks, the White House stated on Monday that it is “confident” in its relationship with France.
Following the address, Paris and The Hague will sign a “pact for innovation”. Concentrating on cooperation in semiconductors, quantum physics, and energy on Wednesday.
France and the Netherlands will also work together to complete a defence treaty by 2024.
The visit is also intended to cement the developing kinship between two countries. That were formerly at opposing ends of the European frugality and social expenditure spectrum.
Visit by Macron to the Netherlands is the first by a French leader since 2000. In 2016, the Dutch royals conducted a state visit to France.
The French president’s own political problems threaten to disrupt the visit. With a new day of protests against his pension reform proposals scheduled for Thursday.