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Truss’s ‘Yes’ boosts Macron’s new European forum initiative



The inaugural summit of a pan-European grouping has been attended by Liz Truss, the UK Prime Minister. This initiative was created by Emmanuel Macron, the French President. Some dismissed it as a mere talk shop.

Prague will host the summit on the European Political Community (EPC). The summit will be attended by 27 European Union leaders.

Britain will have the opportunity to establish a new European forum within its country by Truss’s participation at Thursday’s meeting. It could shift the focus from domestic political and financial turmoil to a more European forum.

European diplomats said that the British employed a pragmatic strategy. “If it’s not possible to ‘kill” a strange initiative it’s better engage deeply and direct it your way.”

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Diplomats suggest that the EPC’s purpose might not be obvious. It is doubtful, because there are many people at the table, both friends and foes, that it will be successful. It will, however, address the three most important issues they care about: energy, security, and immigration.

Macron’s primary goal is to openly welcome EU candidate states that are losing patience while waiting to join the bloc. This will stop Russia and China trying to take power at the continent’s southern and eastern fringes.

French officials stated that the goal is to show Kosovo and Albania that they can do things together and that they don’t have to rely on Russia and China for investment.


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Macron is concerned that the long road to EU membership may discourage Western Balkans nations, which could encourage populism as well as euroscepticism.

French believe it is important to have a forum to discuss security with Britain, Europe’s other major military power. Also, energy with Norway which helps Europe get off Russian gas, is something French consider important.

“BLAH BLAH”

Macron’s grand ideas of a happy family in Europe don’t seem to be shared widely.

In particular, Ukraine and eastern European countries initially looked at the proposal with suspicion. They believed it was an attempt by France to keep them in “purgatory” and refuse to admit more countries into the EU.

French officials denied that and went out of their way to reassure them.

“At the start we were afraid that EPC might be an option to EU member. But as it develops now, I don’t believe so,” said a diplomat from Eastern Europe.

However, expectations remain low.

According to the diplomat from Eastern Europe, it would just be another forum for blah-blah to discuss… but after some meetings it could end without major success.

“There are too many countries with too many interests. How is it possible to have Serbia and talk about Russia? How do you combine Turkey with Greece/Cyprus How can Armenian and Azerbaijan both be at the same table

France is acutely aware that many people will feel that the summit without a clear agenda will only be a family photo with leaders at Prague Castle.

The EPC was pleased to hear that Ukraine had made suggestions, and Moldova offered to host the second summit.

The French diplomat said that concrete initiatives could be created from the forum. These include cooperation between universities after Britain leaves the Erasmus exchange program and no roaming fees between members.

European diplomats believe that the initiative will benefit Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdan from Russia and bring him closer to Europe.

The Turks were initially furious at French hesitancy but eventually got an invitation. They will be there, but they warn the EU to not believe Ankara will give up its ambitions to join this club. It opened membership negotiations with the EU 23 years ago.

European diplomats are reminded of a French initiative Nicolas Sarkozy launched ten year ago to great fanfare. It was lost to the time.

One diplomat from the Baltic stated that it would be like the Mediterranean Union. It won’t have much success.

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