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Europe quietly launches a new political club

Europe is launching a new political community on Thursday but tells the UK you’d be forgiven if you had not heard of it.

There’s been a distinct lack of fanfare around the inaugural meeting on Thursday of the European Political Community, or EPC.

It’s a grouping designed to bring together the European Union and 17 other European countries in what’s been described as a “European security council.”

The community, spearheaded by France’s President Emmanuel Macron, is designed to foster better “political dialogue and cooperation” on issues such as security, energy, and climate issues. The EU also says it should strengthen the “stability and prosperity” of the continent.

As well as the 27 members of the EU, the group also includes a post-Brexit U.K., Turkey, Ukraine, and non-EU members of the Balkans, as well as Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia.

The bloc nonetheless, has been at pains to stress that the EPC is not a fast-track way to EU membership (some countries like North Macedonia and Montenegro have been in the “waiting room” to join the EU since pre-2010).

It is also not designed to be or resemble a supranational European body, which would be of particular concern for the U.K.’s leadership as it continues to navigate post-Brexit waters.

The EU stressed in a statement while making the parameters of the European Political Community clear said: “The platform for political coordination does not replace any existing organisation, structure or process and does not aim to create new ones at this stage”.

Editing by Tersoo Nicholas