Her comments chimed with recent remarks by France’s leader, who warned the NATO alliance was dying and urged the bloc to become an autonomous sovereign power.
“European defence is both an indispensable element for the strengthening of NATO and an essential complement to the military alliance.
“Europe must be listened to, exert stronger influence within NATO and have more control over its own defence,” Ms Loiseau, France’s ex-Europe minister, tweeted following a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
In November Mr Macron who warned in an interview with The Economist magazine that NATO was dying and that Europeans needed to take their security into their own hands.
“What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO,” Mr Macron said.
Asked whether he still believed in the Article Five collective defence guarantee of NATO’s treaty, he answered “I don’t know,” citing US unpredictability under President Donald Trump, whom he said was “turning his back on” his European allies.
Although the 42-year-old centrist has long urged Europe to position itself as an autonomous sovereign power, his scathing verdict of the US-led defence alliance sparked outrage among his allies, with Germany’s Angela Merkel calling it “too drastic”.
He later softened his tone, saying ahead of a crunch NATO summit in London last month that European defence “is not an alternative to NATO, but it is a pillar within NATO”.
Since winning power in 2017, Mr Macron has spearheaded the creation of a nine-country European military force – the European Intervention Initiative – that could rapidly react to crises on Europe’s borders without the help of NATO or the United States.
He has also called for the creation of a “real European army,” arguing that Europeans could no rely on the Americans only for their own defence.
With its military bases in Europe and nuclear warheads stored in five NATO countries, the US remains the ultimate protector of European democracies against an increasingly bold post-Soviet Russia.
But the Trump administration has repeatedly accused European NATO allies of failing to shoulder their fair share of the cost of defending the Brussels bloc. Mr Trump has demanded they double NATO’s defence spending goal of two percent of economic output, set in 2014.
Europeans, for their part, argue security is not just about spending targets. They have, however, collectively boosted their defence spending every year since 2015.