The French government recently ramped up calls for the bloc to create its own army, saying that the EU could no longer rely on the US for its security. “[European governments] have been behaving like teenagers for more than 75 years,” Mr Glucksmann told France Info radio. He said: “We have the American [defence] umbrella and … refuse to face up to the fact that we are now adults.
“Today is a time for Europe to build its own defence, to guarantee itself a strategic autonomy and to build a vision of the world without depending on the United States.”
Mr Glucksmann’s views echo the ones expressed by French President Emmanuel Macron, who has repeatedly stressed that Brussels “can no longer rely on the US for its security”.
“It is up to us today to take our responsibilities and guarantee our own security, and thus have European sovereignty,” Mr Macron said in a foreign policy speech in August last year.
The French centrist added he wanted to see a complete rethink of how Europe defends itself in the future, and called for an urgent new security policy.
He has also warned of an “awakening of nationalists and extremes” in Europe and hit out at US President Donald Trump’s “aggressive isolationism”.
Since his shock election in 2016, Mr Trump has been distancing himself from the NATO military alliance, which groups the US with most of Europe and has underpinned European security since the second world war.
“The partner with whom Europe built the new post-world war order appears to be turning its back on this shared history,” Mr Macron continued. The young centrist has also called for a “real European army” to reduce dependence on the US.
The imminent departure from the bloc of Britain, long opposed to EU military collaboration, has revived discussion of a defence cooperation — as have concerns that Mr Trump may be less willing than his predecessors to come to Europe’s defence.
Mr Glucksmann also commented on the messy UK-EU divorce, saying that those who voted to leave the bloc had to “take responsibility for the catastrophe that is Brexit”.
Britain is in the grip of a political crisis and it is still unclear whether, when or even if it will leave the EU.
On Sunday, a French presidential source said that failing to pay a 39 billion pound Brexit bill would amount to a sovereign debt default, after Boris Johnson, the top candidate to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May as leader of the Conservative party, threatened to withhold the payment until Brussels gave London better exit terms.
“Not honouring your payment obligations is a failure of international commitments equivalent to a sovereign debt default, whose consequences are well known,” the unnamed source told Reuters.
The 39 billion pounds represent outstanding British liabilities to the EU to be paid over a number of years.
Mrs May resigned as leader of the Conservatives on Friday, having failed to unite parliament or the country behind her Brexit plan. Mr Johnson is one of 11 lawmakers vying for her job.
The EU has repeatedly said it will not renegotiate the divorce deal it reached with Mrs May last year, which lawmakers have rejected three times, or to discuss a future trade deal with Britain without the divorce payment.