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“Political European community” demands policy capitulation without EU benefits

Macron’s “European community” aims to completely align non-EU members with Brussels

Paul Antonopoulos | May 11, 2022

French President Emmanuel Macron said non-European Union countries, like the UK and Ukraine, could be offered a closer relationship with the bloc as part of a new type of “political European community”.

Speaking to the European parliament in Strasbourg on May 9, Macron said such an initiative would allow countries to decide on the level of integration they wanted with the EU. However, this loose form of political association is a rather hopeful attempt to unite all of Europe against Russia under the guise of aligning political and energy demands, but without giving non-EU countries like Ukraine participation in its institutions and financial funds.

It can only be imagined that such a “political European community” would exclude Belarus and Russia, and perhaps maybe even Serbia. The guise of uniting Europe’s energy and political policies will obviously be aimed towards Russia. It is almost certain Ukraine will continue to serve as a hostile country against Russia, except still without the ability to participate in European institutions or financial funds.

“It is our historic obligation … to create what I would describe before you today as a European political community,” Macron said. “This new European organisation would allow democratic European nations … to find a new space for political cooperation, security, cooperation in energy, transport, investment, infrastructure, the movement of people.”

However, it is more likely that the French president’s proposal comes in light of the fact that fatigue from EU enlargement remains ongoing. The inability to realistically expand the EU for new members is certain given all the difficulties the bloc has – from institutional-political crises, to energy problems, to failing to influence events in Ukraine.

Since the EU has opted to blindly follow US policy in Ukraine, even to the very detriment of member-states economies and the living standards of citizens, this proposal for a “political European community” is now an attempt by Macron to create a political manoeuvre to offer not only Ukraine, but probably other member-hopefuls like Moldova and Georgia, the possibility of participating in some form of new political alliance instead of full EU membership.

In this way, these countries would adhere to the political line of the EU but be denied the benefits that these states would have if they had full membership. The “political European
community” is effectively a manoeuvre by Macron to continue the façade that he supports “strategic autonomy” from Washington, something that was proven to be nothing but bravado when this policy was first tested in the context of the Ukraine war. For this reason, Macron is attempting to create an ad hoc framework for the political binding of states that cannot be admitted to the EU and thus force them to be dictated by Brussels on foreign policy matters, a small show of so-called European power.

It is likely that the most targeted countries will be in the Balkans and the Caucasus, but also Ukraine.

Since Kiev has opted for war and is backed by NATO and the EU, inclusion in this new political alliance would be important because they know they cannot achieve full membership, even if some member states, such as Poland and Lithuania, push and give political support.

During his speech, the French president said “we all know perfectly that the process of allowing (Ukraine) to join would take several years, in fact probably several decades.” Macron has not hidden away from the fact that Ukraine’s accession to the EU will likely take decades, but to ensure that Kiev does not give up in this ambition, the “political European community” proposal hopes to entice a capitulation to Western Europe’s interests. The reality is that such a “community” will actually serve as another EU lobby to force states such as Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia to follow Brussel’s geopolitical policies and interests.

Given Macron said a fast-track procedure for Ukraine would lead to lowering standards, in addition to suggesting the country’s accession process could take decades, his statement explicitly rules out full membership only for the sake of joining the blocs political line, which is now one of confrontation with Russia.

There will be an expectation for states to follow the EU’s geopolitical line in the context of the “political European community”, even though this will not contribute to progressing toward their EU membership. At the same time though, it can be expected that non-member countries will be punished in their accession process if they do not follow the EU’s demands.

With sanctions increasingly becoming unpopular in Europe as food and energy prices rise, leading to more countries challenging further sanction packages, adding voices from anti-Russia countries could also be a desperate attempt to make Europe appear far more united than it is. None-the-less, although it is likely that Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and even the UK would welcome a “political European community”, it remains to be seen how effective it will be, and whether it will make Europe anymore united against Russia.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

May 11, 2022 - Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | ,

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