European political community and confederation: new lines of integration

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Most EU leaders for long have been talking about “political unity”, although behind closed doors, not being involved in new legal arrangement like Treaty’s amendment; the “French plan” would include both members and non-members of the EU. The EU heads of state and government are divided about the idea: i.e. from being apprehensive to an outright confusion. However, some new tiers of political affiliation with the EU would be expected. 

French President, the country is presently -until the end of May- holding the Council’s Presidency, presented to the European Parliament his plan to launch a convention on treaty change and other institutional reforms, propelled by recommendations from the Conference on the Future of Europe.
Many EU governments and European citizens generally oppose treaty change, reflecting hesitation about moving toward an ever-closer Union. The members of the European Parliament are expected to call for a constitutional convention at the plenary session in June; however, it is unclear whether the Council will be able to muster even the simple majority of 14 countries needed to trigger such a convention, let alone to secure the unanimous votes needed to actually carry out any treaty changes.
Mr. Macron offered virtually no specifics about the proposal; and the French government did not provide any factsheets or other policy briefs as to the suggested European future; instead, the newly-reelected president largely seemed to be improvising, apparently even catching some of his own advisers by surprise, underlined the Politico.
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Speaking on the “Europe Day” (9 May) at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Macron proposed a new “European political community,” which would include both members and non-EU members. The event served as both a celebration of Europe Day – which marks the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration that paved the way for today’s EU – and a closing ceremony for the Conference on the Future of Europe, a yearlong EU self-assessment process that included a series of conferences and meetings in the EU-27.
“This new European organization would allow democratic European nations adhering to 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 youth,” Macron said.

Political unity vs. con-federation
Macron was not the first to come up with a plan for strengthening the EU’s ties to partner countries, including Ukraine, before granting formal membership. Last month, Enrico Letta, a former Italian prime minister and leader of Italy’s Democratic Party, proposed a “European confederation” with aspiring member countries, which would begin with a shared “economic area” gradually adding commitments and eventually including a common defense clause.

French “political idea” followed by an Italian proposal in April 2022 to create a European Confederation, consisting of the 27 EU member states, plus Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. This would have a twofold result. On the one hand, Ukraine, and the other countries lining-up to join the EU, could participate in the European public life and have their say in a common political platform and share the same strategic space. At the same time, the path to EU membership would continue unchanged in parallel, with appropriate timing.

Enrico Letta, secretary of the Italian Democratic Party, argued that the European Confederation would be the place for political dialogue between the 37 participants and common choices would be agreed upon together.
The ability to define shared global strategies would be refined, starting with the defence of peace, security, the promotion of a fair and sustainable development model and the fight against climate change. The Confederation would give strength, including symbolic strength, to the unity of the Continent.

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