Leaked emails from Emmanuel Macron’s election campaign released by Wikileaks revealed the French president puts more importance on France’s military relationship with the UK than the German-proposed European Union military.
The leaked emails originate from advisors to Macron’s campaign who told the then-presidential candidate that the French military relationship with the UK was vital to French interest and “more important” than the EU military cooperation proposal made by Germany, The Telegraph reports.
The emails, representing just a handful of the over 20,000 released this week by Wikileaks, show Macron’s advisors urging the new president to try and keep the UK involved as much as possible in European defence after the UK leaves the political bloc.
One email contained a report which said France was, “caught between the temptation to seize Brexit to advance the CSDP [the EU’s common defence plans] and the desire to maintain a critical mass of exchanges with the British, who … remain the most important and the most active country in the field of defence”.
Another part of the report mentions the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF), a bilateral military agreement between France and the UK formed in 2010. “Although it is a unifying project, the CJEF has not proved itself ‘on the ground’ and could be dead letter for lack of Franco-British deployment in the months/years ahead,” the report claims.
Macron’s party Republique En Marche have so far refused to comment on the content of the email leaks. One spokesman for the party said: “These emails were obtained and published illegally. We are not going to comment on whether specific emails are false.”
The email leak is the second major leak for Macron whose campaign saw a massive cache of files released only days before ballots were cast for the second round of the French presidential election.
Though many assumed that Macron would seek a closer relationship with Germany and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Macron has defied predictions by seeking close ties with U.S. President Donald Trump. Macron invited President Trump to attend the annual Bastille Day parade and according to polls, a majority of French citizens backed the move.
Macron has also made several statements that have been criticised by his base including saying that African women should have fewer children and that Africa’s problems were “civilisational” in nature.
The email leaks also show a rift between France and Germany on the subject of an EU common military policy. The news would be the latest setback for the political bloc which is already facing stiff resistance from countries like Hungary and Poland on issues of mass migration and national sovereignty.