French President Emmanuel Macron emphasized the importance of "European sovereignty" on Tuesday during a state visit to the Netherlands.
Delivering a speech at the Amare Theater in The Hague, Macron stressed that the concept of European sovereignty is "extremely important."
"Identity and sovereignty are intertwined," he said. "If you accept to lose your sovereignty, if you accept to depend on other powers, you put yourself in a situation not to decide for yourself, and not to be in charge of precisely continuing preserving and developing your own identity."
It means that "we must be able to choose our partners and shape our own destiny rather than being, I would say, a mere witness of the dramatic evolution of this world," he said.
"Pandemic and war have just pushed us to discover that we have to reduce our dependency if you want to preserve your European identity," he added.
Macron started a two-day state visit to the Netherlands on Tuesday at the invitation of Dutch King Willem-Alexander.
Macron's visit will "reaffirm the excellent ties between the two countries," the Dutch Royalty said in a press release.
The two countries are "working together towards European strategic autonomy while preserving an open economy, which will enhance the European Union's security and make it less dependent," the release said.