The EPC proposal by President Macron was made in a speech on 9 May 2022. It came in response to the applications for EU membership from Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, and before the decision by the European Council to grant Ukraine and Moldova candidate status. It was initially rejected by the three applicant countries as a manoeuvre to delay granting them the status of candidate countries. However, now that two of them have obtained the sought-after status, the idea may gain some traction. If so, the EPC could serve as a useful transition to membership to Ukraine and other candidate countries whose accession process may be long.
One of the merits of the EPC proposal is that it seeks to move away from a purely bilateral hub-and-spoke relationship between the EU and other European countries towards a multilateral relationship involving potentially all European countries sharing the values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law that are fundamental to the EPC project.