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14 November 2017, 12:32 | Terri Saunders
Poland decides to join EU's PESCO defense project
"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".
Led by France and Germany, the pact pledges 23 European Union member-states to a Common Defence Fund which will see them develop and deploy armed forces together, Reuters reports.
He explained that tomorrow, during the Foreign Affairs and Defence Council in Brussels, those member states who intend to join PESCO are expected to jointly sign the notification letter addressed to the Council and the High Representative.
Defense and foreign ministers from the 23 countries signed a notification of their intention to establish the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), which allows countries to cooperate more closely on security operations and building up military capability.
All EU countries except Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Malta and Portugal said Monday they would sign up to the pact, which will be officially launched at a summit next month.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini hailed the decision as a "historic moment in European defense". 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 so-called Permanent Structured Cooperation (Pesco) is designed in the first instance to facilitate joint investments in defence procurement and research and to project the...
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said it was important for Europe to stand on its own feet when it comes to security and defense - "especially after the election of the US President", referring to President Donald Trump's dismissive attitude towards North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
"We are agreeing on the future cooperation on security and defence issues ... it's really a milestone in European development", he added.
Projects that are likely to be considered in the upcoming years are a European medical command and a network of logistics hubs in Europe, the creation of a European crisis response center, and joint training of military officers.
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