France Calls For New 'Community' Of Non-EU European Democracies
EUROPE - French President Emmanuel Macron stated that it would take years for Ukraine to join the European Union, and called for a new 'community' of non-EU European democracies which would not only include Ukraine, but other countries in Europe, including Britain to join the "European core values".
During the speech to the European Parliament Monday, Macron spoke of a proposal by former President of France, François Mitterrand who "posed a good question and the question remains — how to organize Europe politically in a broader way than the EU" Macron stated.
He also said that his recent re-election signals that France wanted more Europe, but said that it would take several years, maybe even up to a decade for Ukraine to be accepted into the EU.
"Ukraine by its fight and its courage is already a heartfelt member of our Europe, of our family, of our union. Even if we grant it candidate status tomorrow, we all know perfectly well that the process to allow it to join would take several years indeed, probably several decades" he stated.
"It’s our historic obligation to respond to that today and to create what I would call a European political community" Macron said, adding "The European Union, given the level of its integration and ambition, cannot be in the short term the only means of structuring the European continent".
The newly created European 'community' would allow countries adhering to the EU's 'core values' to co-operate with each other regarding security, transport, energy, infrastructure and the movement of people, Macron said.
"Joining it would not necessarily prejudge future EU membership" he clarified. "Nor would it be closed to those who left it".
Macron also suggested that the community would be open not only for potential members, but for those that had left the EU, alluding to Britain and their exit from the EU through Brexit.