The European Political Community (EPC) summit in Granada may have been labelled a disappointment. But it is too early to write off the EPC.
The third EPC summit, held in the Spanish city of Granada on October 5th, was supposed to consolidate the initiative. Leaders focused on digitisation, energy and climate, the war in Ukraine and multilateralism. However, the summit has been widely labelled a disappointment. First, there were high hopes that the meeting could advance the solution of the conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan (which had just retaken the Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh following a swift military intervention), and Kosovo and Serbia. Neither of these things happened. Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani refused to meet Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić, calling on European leaders to sanction him instead. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev cancelled his participation in the summit, with Azeri officials saying this was because of its anti-Azerbaijani atmosphere. Second, several other leaders did not attend the summit. The most prominent absence aside from Aliyev’s was Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s, who was unable to attend (officially due to a cold) and therefore missed his second summit in a row. Meanwhile, Kosovo was represented by its ceremonial president rather than its prime minister. Finally, the Granada summit was also shadowed by disagreements between Spain and the UK over the former’s unwillingness to include migration – a priority for the British government – in the agenda. The final press conference was cancelled, seemingly for this reason, which gave the whole event an aura of disappointment.