News Worms
News Worms


EU Countries Take Step Toward Deeper Security Cooperation

EU Countries Take Step Toward Deeper Security Cooperation

At that the member states retain their sovereign right to leading their own national defense.

The permanent structured cooperation on defence agreement (PESCO), seeks to tighten defence between European Union members and improve coordination in the development of new military hardware.

Germany and France have backed plans to reboot EU defence operations, including an announcement in June of a 5.5-billion euro European Defence Fund.

"It was important for us, especially after the election of the American President, that we can organise ourselves independently as Europeans", German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said. "The real problem is not how much we spend, it is the fact that we spend in a fragmented manner".

Although the initiative, known as Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in European Union jargon, is a Franco-German brainchild, some differences between Berlin and Paris have emerged, diplomats said.

The European Union took a step towards closer defence ties yesterday, with 23 states signing a landmark pact aiming to boost cooperation after Brexit and as Russian Federation flexes its muscles to the east. "I think that European cooperation on defense questions will rather contribute to saving money - we have about 50 percent of the United States' defense spending in Europe, but only 15 percent of the efficiency". This could take place at the next Foreign Affairs Council on 11th December.

EU diplomats told RFE/RL on condition of anonymity that Britain's decision past year to quit the bloc and U.S. President Donald Trump's push for European allies to raise their contributions to the defense of the continent have prompted EU members to act.

Mrs Mogherini said the move would not only complement Nato's security aims but fill in gaps in the Atlantic alliance.

Pesco could, in theory, lead to the creation of a European operational headquarters or logistics base, but will first focus on projects to develop new military equipment such as tanks or drones.

Participants have signed up to a list of commitments which "include increasing the share of expenditure allocated to defense research and technology with a view to nearing the 2 percent of total defense spending" and to "regularly increasing defense budgets in real terms".

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