Flyboard: French inventor soars above Champs-Elysees on flyboard at Paris parade

French President Emmanuel Macron made his announcement at a traditional pre Bastille Day reception before military top brass

Flyboard: French inventor soars above Champs-Elysees on flyboard at Paris parade

In his annual July 14 message, he said: "Not since the end of the Second World War has Europe been so necessary".

The famous boulevard was reopened to traffic as soon as the parade finished, but a few hundred protesters from the grassroots "yellow vests" movement tried to occupy it.

Macron, in an address to military personnel Saturday, one day before the country's Bastille Day celebrations, told the assembled crowd at the Defense Ministry in Paris that the space command would be founded in September and would replace the joint space command set up in 2010. Protesters hurled objects at the police, booed and set bins on fire.

The guest of honor in 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump, came away so impressed by the spectacle he ordered a military parade in Washington for America's independence day celebration.

Macron, who pushed the idea of the European Intervention Initiative (E2I) to undertake missions outside of existing structures like North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, says European defense cooperation is crucial.

He called the renewed military focus on space a "true national security issue" and said it would go to "better protecting our satellites".

Several loud bangs could be heard.

Prior to the police reaction, the protesters started destroying the barriers installed on the streets, trying to build barricades and chanting yellow vest movement slogans.

Forces from all nine countries taking part alongside France in the initiative - including Britain and Germany - were represented at the parade. Paris also announced the attendance of the Prime Ministers of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, and Belgium, Charles Michel, as well as senior representatives from Spain and Denmark.

Earlier this year, Jean-Yves Le Gall, president of the French government space agency CNES (National Centre for Space Studies) revealed that the development of space industry has become France's priority, and that the organisation is waiting for French President Emmanuel Macron to make a strategic decision on forming the country's "space force".

Also present were members of the 5,000-strong Franco-German Brigade (BFA), which was created in 1989 as a symbol of postwar unity between France and Germany, and celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

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