French President Emmanuel Macron, who has is carving out a growing role for himself in European politics and who recently vetoed Macedonia and Albania from opening EU accession talks, gave a blunt interview to the Economist. In it, he declares NATO “brain-dead” while Europe is on the “edge of a precipice”.

Macron told the Economist that it is absurd to allow further EU enlargemnet toward the Balkans, before the procedure is thoroughly reformed. Never the less, he leaves room to allow this, if conditions are met.

His strongest comments are reserved for NATO, as the French President pushes for military and security independence of the European countries, pointing to the fact that they can’t continue to rely on the United States.

What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO… Europe needs to wake up. NATO only works if the guarantor of last resort functions as such. I’d argue that we should reassess the reality of what NATO is in the light of the commitment of the United States, Macron told the Economist in light of the US foreign policy and the announced Syrian withdrawal. The President dismissed the idea of honoring NATO’s Article 5 – the obligation that all allies need to run to the aid if a member state is attacked. “I don’t know. What will Article Five mean tomorrow?”, Macron replied to the Economist when asked if he believes in it.