This summer, Liz Truss signed the UK up to the European Political Community via a new treaty. Politics in Pubs wondered - is it the EU by another name?
This summer, it was announced that a new European Political Community is being created. The Conclusions of European Council, 23 and 24 June 2022 state:
1. The European Council held a strategic discussion on the European Union’s relations with its partners in Europe. It discussed the proposal to launch a European political community.
What, who and how?
The aim is to offer a platform for political coordination for European countries across the continent. It could concern all European countries with whom we have close relations.
The objective would be to foster political dialogue and cooperation to address issues of common interest so as to strengthen the security, stability and prosperity of the European continent.
2. Such a framework will not replace existing EU policies and instruments, notably enlargement, and will fully respect the European Union’s decision-making autonomy.
3. Building on this first exchange of views, the European Council will revert to the issue.
The first meeting was held in Prague on Thursday 6th October 2022:
Good non-pay-walled write-ups of the actual conference are difficult to find as yet, but this one gives a flavour though no mention of a specific signing of a military cooperation agreement as has come up in the media:
We are now members!
Attending the conference during her brief tenure, Liz Truss signed the UK up to the European Political Community via a new treaty. Politics in Pubs wondered – is it the EU by another name?
Some initial thoughts for discussion
- Given the crisis in Ukraine it might be sensible to have a cross-europe group that can address strategic issues affecting all of Europe, not just EU members.
- The EU has failed dramatically in recent times, most notably on the pandemic response and in the response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine (it was also partially responsible strategically by encouraging Ukraine’s member of the EU against the wishes of Russia). Therefore, is a new supra-national group likely to be anything more than an expensive talking shop (particularly as meeting will only take place every six months)?
- Is it being driven by Emanual Macron simply to bolster his position as a European leader and enhance his status on the world stage?
- Will the EU as the largest “member” of the new group use the community to gain more control over non-EU members?
- Is it likely that the aim of this new group will be draw in more members into the EU.
- Liz Truss voted “remain”, so we should be suspicious of any moves to draw us back under the direct influence and control of the EU.
- We need to be vigilant and consider how we can make our voices heard to influence this development.
Points raised at our Politics in Pubs meeting
What is the role of the new European Political Community? There are already two EU summits a year, so why is a new forum/agreement needed?
Is the French President Macron trying to detach the UK from its ‘special relationship’ with the United States?
The EU’s Permanent Structured Co-operation (PESCO) exists to ‘deepen defence co-operation between EU member states’. Does this mean that the EU could deploy a national government’s military without its agreement? Would PESCO and the new European Political Community undermine the role of NATO?
Why is a new treaty required for international co-operation – would the EU use the treaty to dictate the response of sovereign nations like the UK?
Does the last century’s trend of bloc formation ever benefit the people or merely play into the hands of global elites? Should all treaties be ripped up to preserve national sovereignty and political accountability to a nation’s people? In other words, the UK is willing and able to co-operate without the legal ties.
Is cheerleading of military conflict in other nations – dressed up as ‘keeping the peace’, ‘collaboration’ or ‘structured co-operation’ – merely a mechanism for military-industrial companies and their owners to access resources and make vast profits? For example, Tony Blair’s sometimes controversial role as Peace Envoy.
If Russia and its satellites became part of Europe to form a unified bloc would that be to our mutual advantage to counter the rising threat from China, India, Iran and the North-South trade corridor? India and Russia are sharing military training and India uses Russian technologies for mining ores. China is excelling at ‘banksterism’ – lending money to other nations (e.g. Ireland, Spain, Italy, Greece) to fund infrastructure projects, then acquiring ownership of the resulting assets if the nation can’t repay what it owes.
Being signed up to the new European Political Community by Liz Truss feels like yet another attempt to undermine the outcome of the EU referendum. Our government promised to free us up from EU red tape, not bind us into more legal obligations. Signing this treaty – especially so soon after Boris Johnson handed over the UK’s ‘pandemic management’ authority to the WHO – feels like another concerted effort by our political leaders to betray British sovereignty and democracy.
Have we re-joined the EU by another name? Watch this space….
Politics in Pubs goes into battle!
We have great news! We’ll be appearing our own stand at the Battle of Ideas Festival in the Derbyshire spa town of Buxton. We hope you’ll be able to come and support the festival which has become a key event in the battle for free speech and new ideas.
When: Saturday 5 November · 10.00am – 6.00pm
Where: Devonshire Dome, 1 Devonshire Road, Buxton, SK17 6RY
Next meeting in Manchester
We are also meeting as a group again on Wed 9th November 2022, 7.30 to 9.30pm at the Welcome Inn, Bury Old Road, Prestwich, M45 6TA. Topic to be announced. All are welcome.
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