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Macron proposes new European community to include Ukraine and UK | Sandra Cohen’s blog

French President Emmanuel Macron took advantage of the celebration of Europe Day, on Monday (9), to propose a redrawing of the political map of the continent in order to encompass Ukraine and other democracies, such as Moldova and Georgia, even before of being officially accepted into the European club.

To that end, he suggested the creation of a new body – dubbed the European political community – which could include even those who have already passed away, such as the United Kingdom.

The justification that the French president gave to the European Parliament is very simple and reflects the rigid and bureaucratic mechanisms of the bloc. The process of joining a new member to the European Union is usually lengthy and, in Macron’s view, the EU cannot be, in the short term, the only means of structuring the European bloc.

Currently six Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia – are in the queue, with no deadline set to become EU members.

“This new European organization would allow democratic nations on the continent aligned with our set of values ​​to find a new space for political cooperation, security, cooperation in energy, transport, investment, infrastructure and the movement of people, especially our young people”, explained the French president. , since Saturday (7) in his second term.

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A similar version of this proposal was presented earlier by former President François Mitterrand on the occasion of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February demanded quick responses from the EU to help the country, as did the clamor for its inclusion in the 27-member bloc..

“Ukraine, for its combat and its courage, is already today a member of the heart of our Europe, of our family, of our union”, as he summed up, explaining that the format of the new body would not impede the regular process of accession of countries in the EU.

European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola and Macron at a Europe Day rally in Strasbourg on May 9, 2022 — Photo: Associated Press

Macron touched on another vulnerable point, also defending the revision of the treaties that govern the European club, as a way to simplify decision-making. The reform proposal has been echoing in Parliament and appears to have the support of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The most striking change is the end of unanimous voting in some sectors, such as foreign policy, health and defense. “The unanimous vote no longer makes sense if we want to move faster,” said von der Leyen.

The French president consented and advocated for the adoption of decisions by qualified majority. The current requirement for unanimity among the 27 members has recently blocked significant proposals from advancing during the migration crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic..

Counting on the rapid reaction of 13 countries, it will not be easy to undertake this reform. Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Poland and Romania are among the group that signed a document resisting what they called “premature attempts to start a process of change”.

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