: :inin Kyiv (EET)

European Political Community: Opportunities for the Western Balkans

When French President Emmanuel Macron first spoke of a “European Political Community” (EPC) in May 2022, the proposal was initially met with scepticism in many places. In particular, the six Western Balkan states (WB6) – some of which have been working, albeit at different speeds, towards EU membership for nearly 20 years – were concerned that the EPC would serve as a substitute for full EU membership. Other voices criticised the discussion format, which has no founding document, as merely an ineffectual photo-op.
However, after two summits – in Prague in October 2022 and in Chişinău in June 2023 – initial scepticism is waning. Many diplomats agree that a pan-European dialogue format at the highest level of government has been lacking, especially in light of the contentious security environment that has evolved since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Summits without hierarchical structures can foster a sense of belonging. The focus on issues such as energy, security, and connectivity underscores the approach of working on overarching issues that affect EU members and non-EU countries alike. The WB6 should therefore use this new forum as proactively as possible, for …read more

Source:: German Institute for International and Security Affairs


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