Doubts emerge over Macron’s proposal for new EU ‘community’ of aspiring states
French President-elect Emmanuel Macron celebrates on the stage at his victory rally near the Louvre in Paris. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
With a proposal for a new type of European collaboration that extends beyond the EU, France’s President Emmanuel Macron has revived a decades-old notion, but the specifics of how such a system might function remain obscure and controversial.
A bigger European club might give an option for cooperation on political and security matters for the ever-growing list of potential member states, including post-Brexit Britain, while they await admission, which can frequently take years.
However, Macron’s plan, which he introduced in a keynote speech to the EU Parliament on Monday, has already sparked controversy, not least because it might be offered to Ukraine in lieu of full membership.
“If given depth and character, the notion may be a constructive compromise,” said Christine Verger, vice-president of the European think tank Jacques Delors Institute.
However, doubts remain over whether the EU treaty’s mutual aid provision would apply to members of this hypothetical new community, according to Verger.