29 Sep 2022

Will the European Political Community actually be useful?

Michael Emerson

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On 6 October 2022 there will be an inaugural EU meeting at summit level, with the EU’s close neighbours also invited, to debate security and stability as part of a budding European Political Community (EPC), as proposed by President Macron with support from President Michel. However, the future functions of the EPC have only been sketched in very preliminary and summary terms, which this CEPS Explainer seeks to explore in more detail. We identify several categories: foreign policy and strategic security, and EU internal policies, consisting of energy security and climate change, economic cooperation and mobility.

While foreign policy and security issues are obviously prioritised in official statements, so far in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine, there are serious limitations over how effective this is likely to be (almost all of the EU’s most powerful allies are outside Europe). The other suggested functions link closely to the EU’s competences and resources, and these do offer scope for more solid and consensual cooperation.

Overall, the EPC’s organisation and functions should be designed with all these possibilities in mind, especially serving to complement and not displace the EU’s enlargement processes.