In an address to the European Parliament on May 9, 2022, French President Emmanuel Macron proposed the European Political Community as ‘a new European organization’ that would allow countries ‘that subscribe to our shared core values to find a new space for … cooperation’ on politics, security, energy, infrastructure, investment, and migration. Macron was quick to add that membership in the EPC ‘would not prejudge future accession to the European Union,’ but noted that the organization could serve as at least a temporary stand-in for EU integration, a process that could take years or decades. Initial reaction to the proposal reflected this ambiguity. Enlargement skeptics saw the EPC as an alternative to EU accession, whereas fans saw it as an enhanced waiting room. Moldovan President Maia Sandu, for example, argued that participation in the EPC would ‘support and accelerate’ Moldova’s EU accession process. Macron further stated that the EPC should be seen as neither a waiting room for full membership, nor a permanent alternative to it.
Authors:Sam Greene, Edward Lucas, Nicolas Tenzer
Date:23 May 2023
Document type:Policy reports