France and Germany pledged increases in defence spending as European leaders face mounting pressure from Donald Trump to pay more for their own defence ahead of this week’s Nato summit. 

Amid fears that Mr Trump may be planning to scale down the US military presence in Europe, Emmanuel Macron will sign into law a €16 billion (£14 billion) boost in France’s military budget on Friday. 

French defence spending will rise gradually over the next seven years to meet the Western military alliance’s target of 2 per cent of GDP.

As Nato leaders prepare for the two-day summit opening on Wednesday in Brussels, Angela Merkel renewed her pledge at the weekend that Germany would also increase its defence budget to meet the target in future years, but she gave no date.

Mr Trump’s decision to schedule an additional summit with Vladimir Putin on July 16 in Helsinki at a time of heightened tensions between Russia and the EU has further alarmed Nato allies.

Mr Macron’s approval ratings are sinking amid criticism that he is weak on security and immigration, and he will sign the new armed forces budget at the defence ministry on the eve of the traditional Bastille Day military parade.

However, critics point out that more than half of the increase is to come after Mr Macron’s term ends in 2022.

In an attempt to restore confidence in his presidency, Mr Macron will address both houses of parliament in a rare joint session in the gilded splendour of the Palace of Versailles on Monday.

But opponents say it is an extravagant move that will cost more than a quarter of a million pounds. 

Germany says it is also boosting defence spending because of new threats. “The challenges for Nato have changed drastically in recent years,” Mrs Merkel said in her weekly video address.

Europe’s economic powerhouse last week committed to an extra €18bn (£16bn) in military spending, and to raise its defence budget by 80 per cent to reach 1.5 per cent of GDP by 2024 — still well short of the 2 per cent target agreed by Nato leaders in 2014.

Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary-general, welcomed the promised increase but said it was not enough.

“One and a half per cent is not 2 percent,” he told Bild am Sonntag newspaper. “I welcome the fact that Germany is significantly increasing its defence spending. But I expect Germany to do more.”

Britain already exceeds the 2 per cent target agreed by Nato leaders in 2014, but is nevertheless under US pressure to commit to boosting its defence budget before the Nato summit.