The French president has pushed for closer EU defence union since coming to power last year but has been so far met with limited success amid foot-dragging by other member states.
“We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,” Mr Macron told France’s Europe 1 radio in an interview.
“When I see President Trump announcing that he’s quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s Euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security.”
The French president continued: “We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army.
“We need a Europe which defends itself better alone, without just depending on the United States, in a more sovereign manner.”
Mr Macron was speaking in Verdun, northeast France, as part of a week-long tour of battlefields leading up to First World War Armistice centenary commemorations on Sunday.