LONDON (CU)_French President Emmanuel Macron, on Monday (9 May), put forward a proposal to redraw the political map of Europe, strengthening the EU’s relations with war-torn Ukraine, as well as former member Britain. The French politician, who recently won another five years in the presidential palace, has been fiercely opposed to Brexit. One-and-a-half years after Britain’s withdrawal became official, he is now inviting London to strengthen its ties with the EU and enjoy full political integration within the bloc, while having a say in crucial decisions.
Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the French he was all in favour of creating what he called a “European political community”, which would include both members and non-members of the EU. “This new European organisation would allow democratic European nations adhering to our core values to find a new space for political cooperation, and security,” he said. “Joining it would not prejudge future membership of the European Union, and it would not be closed to those who have left the latter.”
President Macron has previously suggested that an array of alliances, making up ‘concentric circles’, to be formed within Europe, with the UK on the outer ring. However, during a trip to Berlin on late-Monday, he confirmed that the former EU member would be invited to “take its full place” in the new ‘political community’.
Meanwhile, Ukraine, which is currently under Russia’s growing aggression, has expressed its wish to join the EU. According to the French President, since this could take decades, the new political union could act as a stop-gap measure. “Ukraine by its fight and its courage is already a heartfelt member of our Europe, of our family, of our union,” he said. “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.”