EPC summit in Moldova: demonstrative unity

At its second summit the European Political Community (EPC) - founded last year and comprising 47 states - sought to sharpen its profile. The confrontation with Russia and solidarity with Ukraine set the tone. In the wake of the meeting commentators ask what else the EPC can achieve in Europe.

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De Volkskrant (NL) /

More united than ever

De Volkskrant says:

“Never before has [Putin's] image of unassailability been so eroded. At the same time, France and Germany, whom Putin thought he had in his pocket for years, are making drastic adjustments to their policies. We saw the results in Moldova. The gap between the 'old Europe' and the 'new Europe' has not been abolished. But it showed a Europe that is more united and robust than ever before - and that will not have escaped the notice of the only two absentees, Putin and Lukashenka.”

Telos (FR) /

Already effective in the short term

Although it is still uncertain whether the EPC will persist and be effective in the long term it will have a real political impact in the short term, Telos comments:

“It is opening up and de-provincialising EU geopolitics, forcing Europeans to engage in dialogue with and confront their neighbours (Turkey, Albania, Serbia). And finally, it contributes to the sanctions policy by exposing Russia's diplomatic isolation on its western flank.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

EU enlargement in the forefront

At the summit it became clear that above all French President Emmanuel Macron has changed course, writes The Irish Times:

“He is shifting French policy more favourably towards EU enlargement to prevent Russia forcing these candidate states into its geopolitical orbit. ... It is a significant gesture towards central and eastern European states that France previously marginalised. EU negotiations are under way with Albania, Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia, while Bosnia-Herzegovina is a candidate for accession talks. Kosovo and Georgia are potential candidates. Moldova and Ukraine are now on that list.”

taz, die tageszeitung (DE) /

Being against Putin is not enough

It seems that being against the Russian president is the only thing all Europe has in common, the taz observes:

“There has been no shortage of anti-Putin summits. For Putin-bashing you don't need an EPC. What Europe lacks is a geopolitical forum - which is precisely why France's leader Macron launched the EPC. ... Meanwhile, other parties are really getting down to business. At a meeting of the Brics states in South Africa which took place parallel to the European summit and was also attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, preparations were made to expand the group by more than a dozen states. ... While Europe is busy with its own affairs the new multipolar world order is growing. The Europeans play only a supporting role in it. Being against Putin is not enough to play the geopolitics game.”