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Estonia to continue contributing to the promotion of European Defence Policy

12. February 2018 - 15:00
Estonia to continue contributing to the promotion of European Defence Policy
Estonia to continue contributing to the promotion of European Defence Policy

At today’s meeting with members of the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Security and Defence, Minister of Defence Jüri Luik discussed the important steps ahead that are facing European defence policy.

Minister of Defence Luik said that during Estonia's presidency ambitious goals were reached, such as the start of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and the creation of the European Defence Fund’s Industrial Development Programme, with the work programmes for both initiatives now requiring approval.

‘If 2017 was a year of decisions within the field of defence in the European Union, then 2018 is the year of implementing those decisions’, said Luik. ‘Estonia will continue to actively contribute to the promotion of European Defence Policy.’

Negotiations between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Europe, on reaching an agreement regarding the Defence Industrial Development Programme, will begin in March. The intention is to confirm the Defence Fund’s Defence Industrial Development Programme by the beginning of summer.

‘We must utilise the full potential of the European Defence Fund and continue to develop it, in order to also secure funding for it during the European Union’s forthcoming 2020-2027 budget period’, said Luik.

The purpose of the Defence Industry Programme is to support the competitiveness and innovation of defence industry undertakings of European Union Member States, including small and medium-sized businesses, across international borders.

The goal of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is to strengthen defence cooperation between Member States and facilitate the availability of military capabilities for use in European Union operations. An important goal for Estonia is that, among other things, Member States participating in defence cooperation undertake to simplify the movement of military supplies and units across borders in Europe.