Dave Keating Profile picture
Oct 5 10 tweets 6 min read
I’m in #Prague for tomorrow’s 1st summit of the new #EuropeanPoliticalCommunity.

The 27 🇪🇺 leaders will be joined by #Truss, #Erdogan, #Zelensky & others.

The big question: what the hell is this thing? The answer depends on what happens tomorrow in a battle between 🇬🇧&🇫🇷. 🧵1/9 Image
The idea is that this is a wider European bloc which will include countries not in the EU, either because they’re waiting to join, they don’t want to join, or they’ve left (🇬🇧).

But there are already such groupings, like the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and the OECD in Paris. Image
What’s the point of the EPC then?

The idea is that, unlike CoE & OECD, this will be a forum for heads of state and government to meet and discuss major issues.

Such leader meetings don’t happen in those other organisations. Image
The EPC was Macron’s idea, proposed in a speech to the 🇪🇺Parliament earlier this year when 🇫🇷 held the rotating EU Council presidency.

European Council President Charles Michel (often derisively called a Macron puppet in Brussels) ran with the idea, putting Council in the lead. Image
The EPC was Macron’s idea, proposed in a speech to the 🇪🇺Parliament earlier this year when 🇫🇷 held the rotating EU Council presidency.

European Council President Charles Michel (often derisively called a Macron puppet in Brussels) ran with the idea, putting Council in the lead. Image
Michel attached it to an informal European Council scheduled this Friday in Prague Castle, run by #Czechia which now holds the rotating presidency.

Macron specifically referred to 🇺🇦 & 🇬🇧 as reasons this forum is needed. Big question was: would 🇬🇧 join? Image
New UK PM #LizTruss had signalled she’s not interested, belittling the idea and saying it’s unnecessary.

But in one of several u-turns over the past week, she suddenly said not only will she attend and 🇬🇧 will join, she basically wants to run the thing. euractiv.com/section/future…
UK officials reportedly asked that the 2nd meeting be in 🇬🇧, and they also want to change the name - to “European Political Forum”.

It’s not hard to see what happened here. 🇬🇧realized if they don’t push to the front now, this will be an 🇪🇺-dominated forum bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politi…
So tomorrow could turn into an arm-wrestling match between #Truss & #Macron (who she famously said is neither friend nor foe two months ago) over whether EU or non-EU countries will be in the lead.

And/or, it could finally lead to a thaw in 🇬🇧🇪🇺 relations.politico.eu/article/europe…
There are other key things to watch tomorrow:

🇹🇷: Will Erdogan embrace EPC idea? Will he join Truss to put non-EU in the lead?

🇺🇦: Will Zelensky (joining by video) still be suspicious this is meant to put off EU accession?

🇨🇭: Will this improve souring 🇪🇺🇨🇭relations? 🧵 9/9 Image

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More from @DaveKeating

Oct 11
Extraordinary speech by 🇪🇺Foreign Affairs High Rep @JosepBorrellF saying out loud what member states have opposed him &predecessors saying since position was created in 2009

Capitals jealously guarding their power &information has hobbled 🇪🇺on world stage europa.eu/!d8dMvC Image
Immediately after they agreed to create an EU foreign affairs minister and ministry, to give Europe more voice & sovereignty, national capitals worked to undermine the position.

First they insisted it be given an unwieldy title (High Representative for Foreign Affairs). Then...
National governments purposefully 1st appointed a weak unknown novice, Catherine Ashton, whose tenure was an embarrassment

Since then they have done everything to keep High Rep in the dark &not give them robust mandates. Then they complain Europe isn't treated as a global player
Read 5 tweets
Oct 9
🇫🇮🇪🇪: a Balto-Finnic people separated by 🇸🇪🇷🇺, split by an iron curtain, now united by the 🇪🇺.
It is clear who is on the right side of history.

Brutal empires, be it 🇷🇺,🇬🇧or🇫🇷, rode roughshod over peoples aspirations. Nation-states birthed in 19th century were formed through myth & forced expulsions

🇪🇺 respects national feelings while making arbitrary borders irrelevant
For 🇷🇺to accuse 🇪🇺of colonialism is laughable.

The #RussianEmpire, unlike others, never had to decolonialise because it was a contiguous land empire that could later hide behind a supposed common ideology. But 🇷🇺has never stopped being a colonial empire. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_i…
Read 4 tweets
Sep 29
BREAK - Liz Truss *will* be attending the 1st summit of the #EuropeanPoliticalCommunity in Prague next week.

In fact, 🇬🇧 now fully on board to JOIN this European community and wants to host the 2nd meeting (!?!)

An astonishing u-turn.
A refresher: #EuropeanPoliticalCommunity is 🇫🇷President @EmmanuelMacron's idea for a forum larger than 🇪🇺 where European issues can be discussed. An 'outer ring'

Many suspect it's meant as a halfway house to park aspiring members. And a former member.
This 1st EPC summit in Prague next Thursday, with 🇪🇺27 leaders plus invited 🇺🇦🇹🇷🇬🇧🇳🇴🇲🇰🇨🇭🇦🇱🇦🇲🇦🇿🇧🇦🇬🇪🇮🇸🇽🇰🇱🇮🇲🇩🇲🇪🇷🇸, will have to answer many questions.

The first: what the hell is the EPC? And how would it be different from the Council of Europe in Strasbourg? Nobody yet knows.
Read 5 tweets
Sep 29
Now confirmed: 🇪🇺Commission is *not* putting a proposal to cap gas prices on the table for tomorrow's emergency meeting of energy ministers.

In the working document circulated to capitals, the Commission warns that the idea, pushed by 15 countries, would do more harm than good.
The pro-cap countries, who between them would have a qualified majority for approval, are angry no proposal has emerged from the Commission (who must initiate legislation for it to be approved)
Wealthy countries that could afford the higher gas prices are opposed to the cap. There is fear the gas will just go elsewhere on global market to countries willing to pay more.

Note that countries with a current account surplus are the ones opposed. politico.eu/newsletter/bru…
Read 5 tweets
Sep 28
🇪🇺President @VonDerLeyen now announcing an 8th package of #RussiaSanctions

"Last week #Russia has escalated the war in #Ukraine to a new level. The sham referenda organized in the territories that 🇷🇺 occupied, are an illegal attempt to grab land and change intl borders by force"
"We do not accept the sham referenda," says 🇪🇺President @VonDerLeyen, "or any type of annexation in Ukraine."

"And we are determined to make the Kremlin pay for this further escalation."
The new #RussiaSanctions include:

🙅‍♂️1300 more people & entities on targeted list
🚚"Sweeping" ban on Russian imports worth €7bn
💾More key technologies banned from export to Russia
🕴️Ban on EU nationals on Russian company boards
🛢️Price cap on Russian oil for 3rd countries
Read 6 tweets
Sep 28
Latest on the suspected Russian attack on Baltic Sea gas pipelines:

There is now a consensus that the 🇩🇰PM's assessment is correct, this was deliberate sabotage. The question is, how can 🇪🇺 respond to a Russian attack in EU waters?
The first response is that European countries are this morning rushing to protect their energy infrastructure from Russian attack.

There is particular fear about floating LNG terminals, the lifelines to get non-Russian gas this winter.
The second response is that EU navies will have to be activated to protect maritime assets from Russian attacks.

The energy cold war just turned into an energy hot war, as Politico notes.
Read 10 tweets

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