Macron talks of a new European community and hints that UK could join - article from Connexion
This article dated 10 May 2022 is by Thomas Brent for Connexion - a newsletter for Brits in France - which I am publishing despite rejection of Macron's idea by the British Government. My reason for doing so is that there is at least a hint that Macron is softening up in his attitude towards the UK which has been a barrier in the negotiations over Northern Ireland.
Here is a summary of the article:
French President Emmanuel Macron has set out his vision of a restructured Europe that involves the core European Union states entering into a political union with non members, implying that the UK could join this wider “European political community”.
Mr Macron was speaking yesterday (May 9) at the European Parliament in Strasbourg to mark both the celebration of Europe Day and the closing ceremony for the Conference on the Future of Europe.
His comments came in the context of offering Ukraine greater protection following Russia’s invasion of the country on February 24.
“Even if tomorrow we granted them [Ukraine] the status of candidate for membership of our European Union… We all know perfectly well that the process allowing them to join would take several years – in truth, probably several decades,” Mr Macron said.
“And it is the truth to say this, unless we decide to lower the standards of this membership and therefore to completely rethink the unity of our Europe.”
He then put forward his solution, calling for a new organisation that 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”.
“Joining it [the new political community] would not necessarily lead to future EU membership, just as [the community] would not be closed to those that have left the EU,” he added.
This last comment can only be seen as a nod to the UK, which left the EU at the end of 2020 (although Greenland also technically left in 1985). Mr Macron did not mention the UK by name.
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