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Centre for European Research

II. Bayeux Network Meeting

When: Monday, May 15, 2023, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Where: Virtual Meeting

The second virtual meeting of the Bayeux Network, held on May 15th, focused on advancing the dialogue surrounding the Franco-British relationship in preparation for the upcoming EPC summit in Chisinau on June 1st. Distinguished participants, including high-level officials, academics, and think tank representatives, engaged in in-depth discussions covering various crucial topics such as energy, migration, foreign policy, and defense.

The Bayeux Network deliberated on the significance of the European Political Community (EPC) as a valuable forum for addressing post-conflict geopolitical dynamics and security interests in Europe. While the EPC's primary objective is not political or military alignment, akin to the EU and NATO, it serves as an open platform for regular discussions among European leaders. The network acknowledged multiple advantages associated with this informal and adaptable forum, particularly in fostering the Franco-British relationship. By providing a geostrategic venue, the EPC facilitates the exploration of core European values, encourages collaboration in areas of mutual interest, and facilitates diplomatic dialogue regarding European security matters. Importantly, its non-institutionalized nature ensures equal participation of both EU and non-EU member states, enabling diverse perspectives on peace and security in Europe to be shared. The inclusive approach of the EPC also aids in conflict resolution, bilateral dispute management, and the prevention of potential threats to peace. The flexibility and informality of the forum allow for specialized discussions without imposing rigid alliance alignments. Thus, the Bayeux Network emphasizes the EPC's ability to strengthen the bilateral ties between the UK and France by offering a valuable platform for European cooperation beyond the confines of the EU. Notably, the forthcoming Chisinau summit and the UK's hosting of the 2024 EPC summit present significant opportunities for further dialogue and collaborative efforts.

The outcomes of the meeting hold the potential as essential inputs for shaping the agenda and setting priorities for the Franco-British summit in Chisinau. This enables both countries to effectively address pressing issues, develop shared strategies, and enhance their collaboration within the broader European context.

To gain a deeper insight into the topic and delve into the main suggestions discussed in this meeting, we suggest referring to the blog post authored by Sarah Wolff, Pierre Haroche, Helen Drake, Jorein Hendriksen, Basak Sendogan, and Gesine Weber. The article presents a viewpoint emphasizing the potential significance of the organization in shaping the future of European security.

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