EU Member Nations Sign Defense Pact

Lucy Bush
November 14, 2017

European Union Foreign Ministers, who are meeting on Monday in Brussels, will hear EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini report on her recent lobbying trip to the USA on the Iran nuclear deal.

Member states participating in PESCO will aim to simplify the transportation of military supplies and units within Europe, which is an important goal for Estonia.

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The goal of PESCO is to further increase defense cooperation between member states, to encourage larger defense investments, to facilitate the availability of military capabilities for European Union operations, to strengthen defense cooperation between member states, and to decrease capability gaps. By the time of the summit, diplomats expect only Britain, Denmark and Malta not to be involved.

On November 13 ministers from 23 EU member states signed a joint notification on the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and handed it over to the High Representative and the Council, Armenpress reports citing the EU Council's official website. Britain can take part in some if they are of benefit to the entire EU. These include the establishment of an European Union defense headquarters for training missions in Somalia, Mali and Central African Republic, a pilot project to coordinate national budgets to identify capability shortfalls, and the new military pact. The EU, she said, has tools to fight hybrid warfare - the use of conventional weapons mixed with things like propaganda and cyber-attacks - that the American-led military alliance does not have at its disposal. Mogherini, EU military chiefs and the European Defence Agency will then evaluate whether the plans are being respected. He said Europe spends 50 percent as much as the United States on defense yet only has 15 percent of its military efficiency.

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The EU can also bring its political and financial weight to bear on security challenges, such as the use of development aid in Africa, where North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has no real foothold. The notice of intent to be inked in Brussels on Monday, seen by AFP, includes a pledge to "regularly increasing defence budgets in real terms" as well as commitments to devote 20 percent of defence spending on procurement and two percent on research and technology.

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