The European Political Community (EPC), proposed this spring by French President Emmanuel Macron, is holding its first meeting today in Prague, where an informal European summit is also being held. They have been invited to the meeting 17 countries that are not members of the EU, including the United Kingdom, which is attending an event of this type for the first time since it decided to leave it, together with others, such as Ukraine, who dream of one day being a member, or Turkey, which is a almost perpetual candidate country.
The other countries invited to this first meeting with the EU are Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Moldova, and Georgia.
Proposing this idea after a lackluster conference on the future of Europe, the French president said that “given its very high level of integration, the EU cannot be in the short term the only way to structure the European continent”, but neither it’s possible leave to their fate to all the countries in our geographical environment that are trying to structure their future towards Europe and prevent other powers such as China or Russia from becoming the dominant element in areas such as the Balkans.
According to official information, for now this Community is «a platform of political coordination that does not replace any existing organization, structure or process and does not intend to create new ones at this stage«. In other words, it is a forum that can ideally meet twice a year and in which aspects of generic coordination on current affairs. For example, this first meeting will discuss the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis on the continent.
The question of whether it is the prelude, or the waiting room of the EU does not seem the most exact because the entry process is unique for each country and, on the other hand, it seems clear to everyone that there cannot be a new enlargement of the Union if the Treaties are not changed beforehand to prevent the institutions from becoming blocked.
Europe at two speeds
The debate on the incorporation of new countries deeply divides the Twenty-seven, while the idea of this European Political Community has made its way in a matter of months. Probably because it is rather an imaginative version of the eternal concept of a Europe at two speeds, one that is moving towards an increasingly intense integration and another in which those countries orbit that are only interested in generic cooperation in areas of interest mutual. The fact that Liz Truss has agreed to return to a European meeting under this formula is quite illustrative because it could also be considered as a tailor-made Europe for the United Kingdom.
For other countries like Turkey, which has hegemonic ambitions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Caucasus, this is also a platform that can allow it to expand its influence, in fact it intends to take advantage of the occasion to meet with the Armenian president, a country with which it keeps the border closed, hand in hand with its main ally in the area, Azerbaijan.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism