Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spurred an intense debate on the future of the European security order and on the EU’s eastward enlargement. Following President Macron’s proposal to launch a new format for political and security cooperation in Europe in May 2022, the first Summit of the EPC took place in Prague in October and sent a strong message of European unity in the face of Russia’s aggression. However, as the 47 European leaders of the EPC prepare to gather for the second Summit in Moldova on 1 June 2023, the format still lacks a clear sense of purpose. This policy brief argues that the EPC could fulfil multiple roles, depending on convergence among its member states and on the scope for delivering added value compared to other European organisations. First, while clearly separate from the EU enlargement process, the EPC could complement it by fostering political engagement with EU aspirant members. Second, the EPC could evolve into an inclusive forum for security dialogue, building confidence among its members and helping prevent or manage crises. Third, the EPC could perform as a hub for differentiated cooperation, with groups of member states working together on security issues as well as on a broader agenda, such as education and connectivity. Flexibility is and should remain a strength of this format, but the sustainability of the EPC will depend on what it is able to deliver.
Document type:Policy reports