France Macron calls for shared defense budget and an EU army by 2020

The French President called for the introduction of EU identity cards, a shared defense budget and a European military intervention force.

Speaking at Paris-Sorbonne University, he also proposed a shared budget for eurozone countries and an EU-wide asylum agency to help tackle the migration crisis.

He said: “What Europe is missing today is a common strategic culture. Our incapacity to act together in a convincing way undermines our credibility as Europeans.

“Europe as we know it is too weak, too slow and too inefficient.

“But only Europe can give us the means to act on the world stage as we tackle the great challenges of the day.”

Mr Macron called for the creation of an EU defence force by 2020 that would give the bloc “autonomous capacity for action” and proposed creating an European security training academy.

His plans were dealt a blow when the Eurosceptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party emerged as the third biggest in last week’s German elections. The result means Angela Merkel is likely to have to form a coalition with the Free Democrats, who are opposed to many elements of deeper EU integration.