The idea already has form. And date: October 6 in Prague. The European Political Community proposed by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, last May, will meet for the first time in a month, as confirmed by European diplomatic sources.
The French president proposed in the commemorative events of Europe Day, on May 9, in the European Parliament, in Strasbourg, the creation of a new body: the European Political Community, which would also include countries aspiring to the EU, such as Ukraine, or countries that are no longer in the EU, such as the United Kingdom.
“The EU, taking into account its level of integration, cannot be the only way to structure the European continent in the short term,” Macron said then in a speech before the European Parliament during an act that marked the end of the Convention’s work. for the Future of Europe which he started a year ago on his own initiative.
He also explained that Ukraine “because of its struggle and courage, is already a heartfelt member of our Europe, of our family”, but we must be realistic and “we all know that the accession process (to the EU) will take several years, and actually several decades.”
“It would be a space in which to bring together those of us who share common values, and common concerns, such as security in Europe and energy supply, for example,” Macron insisted.
According to diplomatic sources, the first meeting of the European Political Community will take place in Prague on October 6 in the afternoon and evening, coinciding with the informal European Council scheduled for the following day. This meeting will be for leaders only, that is, the head of state and government. “His main goal will be for the leaders to have a political discussion on strategic issues of common interest to the European continent,” the sources say: “The main issues will include Russia’s war against Ukraine, the energy crisis and the economic situation.”
The choreography of the meeting will include an opening plenary session, round tables (security, stability, energy climate, mobility, economy…), bilateral meetings and a closing plenary dinner.
According to the sources, the invitation will go to: the 27 EU Member States, the six Western Balkan countries, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, the United Kingdom, Ukraine – the president, Volodímir Zelenski, usually intervenes by videoconference in this type of international forums – Moldova, Georgia, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan. Thus, the new British Prime Minister, Liz Truss, will meet with whom she has several open lawsuits to finish settling Brexit.
“This meeting is a continuation of the June European Council conclusions and discussion,” the sources say. Indeed, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, explained at the end of that summit that there had been a “good reception” for the idea of the European Political Community, launched by Macron, then President of the Council of the EU.
“The European Political Community will be an inclusive process and will guarantee the sense of belonging on the part of the leaders of both the EU and third countries. It is no replacement for enlargement or EU policies,” the sources say.
In an interview with elDiario.es, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, explained about the initiative: “Regarding Macron’s proposal, a broader Europe is not a replacement or does not compete with the process of enlargement and the methodology of enlargement of the EU. We just modernized the scaling methodology. Two years ago we made it more flexible. You can move forward faster or go back, and the process can be reviewed if the country is not complying.”