- Associated Press - Friday, November 8, 2019

BERLIN (AP) - The president-elect of the European Union’s executive Commission is defending NATO after French President Macron claimed that a lack of U.S. leadership is causing the military alliance’s “brain death.”

Ursula von der Leyen didn’t explicitly address Macron’s criticism in a speech Friday but said that, even though there has been “bumpiness” recently, “NATO has proven itself superbly as a protective shield of freedom.”

Macron said the European members of NATO “should reassess the reality” of what the alliance is in light of the U.S. commitment.


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Von der Leyen, who will succeed Jean-Claude Juncker in one of the EU’s top jobs in the coming weeks, said that “NATO was and is always what its member states make of it - it is up to 29 countries to participate and change something.”

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