Issued on: 23/06/2022 – 22:57
EU leaders holding a summit Thursday started discussing, with a mix of interest and scepticism, the idea of a “European Political Community” put forward by French President Emmanuel Macron.
What is the idea?
He mooted it as a broad but “lean” decision-making structure for political dialogue and cooperation on matters of common interest for European nations—both ones in the EU and outside it.
It was not to replace EU policies and instruments, he said. Rather it would establish regular meetings on key topics “to stabilise the European continent,” Macron said on a recent Moldova trip.
What countries could participate?
It would include countries wanting to join the EU, such as Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Western Balkans states. But also those happy to be outside it, such as Switzerland and Norway, and perhaps even former member Britain.
There is a question mark over Turkey, a longtime EU aspirant that sits alongside many European countries in NATO, which has expressed interest in the idea. But Macron has insisted the forum would only be for countries that share the EU’s “democratic values”.
How has it been received?
Reactions to the proposal range from interest to wariness, some tinged with scepticism. But the general response has been wanting to hear more before judgement is passed.
North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski, in Brussels Thursday for an earlier EU-Western Balkans summit, hailed the initiative…