French President Emmanuel Macron has defended his remarks that NATO is "brain dead".
Claiming they served as a useful wake-up call to alliance members.
And saying he would not apologize for the blunt verdict - one which drew strong reaction from European peers ahead of a December 4 summit in Britain.
They believe Europe needs still to rely heavily on the NATO alliance for its defense.
The French leader spoke at a news conference alongside NATO's Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg.
(SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON SAYING: "The questions I have asked are open questions, that we haven't solved yet: peace in Europe; the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty; the relationship with Russia, the issue of Turkey; who is the enemy?
So I say: as long as these questions are not resolved, let's not negotiate about cost-sharing and burden-sharing, or this or the other.
So we maybe needed a wake-up call, as they say in English.
I'm glad it was delivered, and I'm glad everyone now thinks we should rather think about our aims and strategic goals." Stoltenberg responded that in uncertain times, strong multilateral institutions such as NATO were essential.