Emmanuel Macron expected on his European strategy during a state visit to the Netherlands

French President Emmanuel Macron begins a two-day state visit to the Netherlands on Tuesday (April 11) with a royal sequence in Amsterdam, followed by an expected speech on Europe, after the controversial remarks he held during his trip to China

Emmanuel Macron expected on his European strategy during a state visit to the Netherlands

French President Emmanuel Macron begins a two-day state visit to the Netherlands on Tuesday (April 11) with a royal sequence in Amsterdam, followed by an expected speech on Europe, after the controversial remarks he held during his trip to China. First state visit to the kingdom since 2000 for a French president, this trip will be an opportunity to confirm the strengthening of ties initiated since the exit from the European Union of the United Kingdom, a close ally of the Netherlands. .

This visit comes after a trip to China during which Emmanuel Macron had called on the European Union not to be "follower" of the United States and China on the question of Taiwan and to embody a "third pole". "We don't want to depend on others on critical issues," he hammered Sunday in the French daily Les Echos, citing energy, artificial intelligence or social networks. His call, in the same interview, to keep his distance on the question of Taiwan and to "depend less on the Americans" in matters of defense, had immediately raised criticism and questions, like his past remarks on Ukraine.

The alliance with the United States is "an absolute foundation" of European security, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki objected from Washington on Tuesday morning. "Some Western leaders dream of cooperation with everyone, with Russia and with some powers in the Far East," he quipped, pointing out that he was going to "the United States to further strengthen "Economic and defense cooperation".

"Vision" of European sovereignty and "security"

Bruno Le Maire, who will accompany the presidential couple to the Netherlands, also advocated the idea of ​​a third pole on Tuesday morning: "[Europe] is [the] ally of the Americans but does not have the same strategic thinking," he stressed on Europe 1. "We don't have to be caught between a rock and a hard place. We have to build our own power. »

During this trip, the Head of State must also present his "vision" of European sovereignty and "security" in economic and industrial matters in a speech on Tuesday afternoon at the Dutch institute Nexus. in The Hague. In the wake of this speech, Paris and The Hague will sign an "innovation pact" on Wednesday, with the key to cooperation in the fields of semiconductors, quantum physics and energy.

The Elysée insists on the "rapprochement" between France and the Netherlands, whose European positioning cannot now be reduced to a contrast between The Hague "liberal and economical" and Paris "solidarity and protectionist".

Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron will be welcomed with military honors by King Willem-Alexander and his wife, Maxima, at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, before a reception and a private lunch. Seven ministers will travel alongside the French president. The program of the very ceremonial visit includes a State dinner at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam at the invitation of King Willem-Alexander and his wife, Maxima, as well as a meeting with the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte. The presidential couple, accompanied by the King and Queen of the Netherlands, must also visit the exhibition dedicated to the painter Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, before returning to Paris on Wednesday evening.