Last month, Democrat Mr Biden beat Donald Trump in the US election, triggering a renewed debate over Europe’s role on the world stage. Mr Biden has pledged to restore close ties with America’s traditional allies.
But the French President – who led a push for European ‘strategic autonomy’ under the Trump administration – warned the EU needs to build its independence.
He said: “The changeover of administration in America is an opportunity to pursue, in a totally peaceful and calm manner, what allies need to understand among themselves, which is that we need to continue to build our independence for ourselves, as the United States does for itself and as China dose for itself.”
Mr Macron’s concerns have been echoed by Enrico Letta, former Prime Minister of Italy.
He said: “We can’t allow Europe to be depending on some thousand voters in Nevada, Arizona or Pennsylvania in the future.”
Mr Macron, French European Commissioner Thierry Breton, European Council President Charles Michel and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell are strong advocates of strategic autonomy.
Mr Michel said last month: “Let us remain lucid.
“The United States are changing, Europe is changing.
“Our respective visions and interests will not always converge.”
Ms Merkel and German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, as well as leaders in the Baltics and Central and Eastern Europe, favour close ties with the US and Nato due to tensions with Russia.
Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, Vice President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, stressed: “The future you go away from France, the strategic assessment changes.
“Even Germany without the American nuclear umbrella has zero deterrence.
“And I haven’t heard the French extending their nuclear umbrella to Germany.”
In a op-ed for Politico, Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer added: “Illusions of European strategic autonomy must come to an end.
“Europeans will not be able to replace America’s crucial role as a security provider.”
However, her comments were met with criticism from Franziska Brantner, the Greens’ spokesperson for EU affairs in the Bundestag.
Ms Branter wrote: We have to define what defence and deterrent capabilities are needed to guarantee our territorial integrity and create European synergies to obtain these.
“What Europe needs now is not more dependence on an unreliable partner, but more European sovereignty.”