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Deepening of defence cooperation in the EU strengthens Europe's security

13. November 2017 - 12:51

European Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs are meeting today, 13th of November, in Brussels, to sign a joint notification for deepening defence cooperation between European Union Member States. Estonia is one of the signatories.

According to Minister of Defence of Estonia Jüri Luik, the development of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) by Member States symbolises a new era in European Union defence policy and strengthens Europe's security.

“We have used our Presidency to support PESCO’s creation process, and thanks to the constructiveness of Member States things have moved forward quickly. Our wish is that 2017 would be remembered as a year of decisions,” said Luik.

PESCO requires that EU Member States engage in greater and more systematic cooperation: increase defence expenditures, make their units available to EU operations, create joint military capabilities and strengthen the defence industry. At the same time, the sovereign right to command one’s national defence is preserved.

Estonia’s accession to PESCO is an important step in terms of defence policy, one that allows us to participate in the further development of EU defence cooperation.

At the suggestion of Estonia, the obligation to simplify European military transport was added to the joint notification. The seamless movement of units and supplies with minimal red tape serves the objectives of the EU as well as NATO.

The signing of the joint notification is followed by an official vote to initiate PESCO. This may take place as soon as December, while Estonia is still the holder of the Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Also being discussed at the meeting is the implementation of the European Defence Fund initiative and NATO cooperation.

The signing ceremony will be taking place at 11.30 (CET), see the live broadcast.

Additional information:
Photos and videos of informal Foreign Affairs Council (Tallinn, 6th-8th of September)