Brief and Analyses

The european political community: informality as a key to success

27 February 2024

The EPC has been established to create ‘strategic intimacy’ among European countries, at a time when Russian aggression against Ukraine demanded a show of unity and geopolitical resolve. Its lack of standing structures, institutions, budget and even final declarations should be taken as added value and not as a liability. Indeed, the EPC should not be considered as a loose replica of the EU, or as a waiting room for EU aspiring members. Any comparison with the EU fails to capture the real added value of the EPC – an informal format allowing European leaders to freely discuss open issues at ‘minilateral’ level on the sidelines of the event, without the pressure of political consensus. While European leaders should resist the calls to institutionalise the EPC, they should also be aware of the risk of increasing fatigue, if this format fails to deliver tangible results in the long run. In order for the EPC not to become just a big photo opportunity for the whole European continent, organising host countries (which rotate on a six-month basis on the EU/non-EU country principle) should spend their political capital to keep the EPC a valid geopolitical institution with its distinctive features

Brief by Sabina de Silva e Lada Vetrini