Macron proposes ‘European political community’

French president Emmanuel Macron speaks during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz as part of a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, May 9, 2022. (MICHAEL SOHN / AP)

BRUSSELS – French President Emmanuel Macron believes that a "European political community" should be built that would be broader than the European Union and would include non-EU nations. 

He outlined his vision in a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Monday. 

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"How should we organize Europe in a political manner?" he asked. "And how can we go further than the European Union? It's our historic obligation now to respond to that question." 

And how can we go further than the European Union? It's our historic obligation now to respond to that question.

Emmanuel Macron, President, France 

The ultimate goal, he said, is to maintain stability on the continent. Relying on the EU only is not enough. 

"Given its level of integration and ambition," the EU could not be Europe's only organizing body, he said. 

This new organization would allow democratic European nations to "find a new space of political cooperation" in the areas of security, energy, transport, infrastructure investment and freedom of movement. 

To become a member state of the EU is a lengthy process, often taking years if not decades, Macron said, as the EU's membership criteria are very strict. 

His proposal comes as Ukraine, currently in conflict with Russia, is seeking the EU's support and asking to be admitted as a candidate country to enter the Union. 

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, right, shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Chancellery in Berlin, May 9, 2022. (MICHAEL KAPPELER / DPA VIA AP)

The proposal complements the 49 proposals of the Conference on the Future of Europe that will be presented to the leaders of EU institutions. 

These proposals cover climate change and the environment; a stronger economy, social justice and jobs; the EU in the world; values and rights, rule of law, security; digital transformation; migration; and education, culture, youth and sport.