Six arrested for plotting to assassinate President Emmanuel Macron

Le Pen’s Eurosceptic party beats Macron’s in EU parliamentary election poll

"In the very long run, we will need a European army", he tweeted on May 20, 2014.

Chief Spokesperson of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas echoed Macron by saying that "this is the Commission that put forward lots of initiatives and proposals to start building gradually a more meaningful and assertive defence identity in these hard geopolitical times".

Macron wants a nine-member European force, separate from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, that could intervene on short notice in conflicts or provide aid after natural disasters.

However, the United Kingdom does not support the creation of a European Army, stating concerns of creating an agreement which parallels the mission of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, according to BBC.

"I pardon nothing, but I erase nothing of our history", Macron added.

"This is the Commission that put forward lots of initiatives and proposals to start building gradually a more meaningful and assertive defense identity in these hard geopolitical times", he told reporters at a regular briefing.

Mr Farage told his listeners: "I said it for years, "they're going to build a European army".

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"The idea of creating a common strategic culture is not a bad one", he told AFP.

Today, Macron also said Europe needed to build a real army to become less reliant on the United States and in the face of a resurgent Russian Federation.

The alleged plot was uncovered days before U.S. President Donald Trump and dozens of other world leaders are due in France for weekend observances marking the signing 100 years ago of the November 11 armistice that ended World War I.

"It's about reinforcing Europeans' capacity to act independently to guarantee their security whenever that's necessary", said an aide to French Defence Minister Florence Parly.

On Wednesday, Macron called Philippe Petain "a great soldier" in speaking to reporters amid criticism over his intention to pay homage to Petain among other World War I fighters at a ceremony Sunday.

The French president has pushed for closer EU defence union since coming to power past year but his proposals have been met with a lukewarm reception from member states.

Le Pen recently changed her party's name from National Front in an attempt to move away from the far-right party's racist and anti-Semitic roots.

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