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EU states to sign joint defence pact

On Monday, 23 states of the European Union confirmed their willingness to confront its security challenges by signing a landmark pact that aims to boost cooperation both in weapon systems development and external operations
Foreign and defense ministers gathered at a signing ceremony in Brussels to represent 23 EU governments joining the pact – Photo: Taken from Federica Mogherini Twitter account
14/11/2017
13:52
AFP
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On Monday, most states of the European Union confirmed their willingness to confront its security challenges by signing a landmark pact that aims to boost cooperation both in weapon systems development and external operations.

“We are living a historic moment in European defence,” said EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, and added that "23 member states engaging booth on capabilities and on operational steps is something big."

According to Federica Mogherini, the Permanent Structured Cooperation (Pesco) "will enable member states to use the economy of scale of Europe and in this manner to fulfill the gap of output that we have."

Pesco will first focus on projects to develop new military equipment such as tanks or drones with the aim of harmonizing weapons systems and eliminating gaps in capabilities.

Since the failure of the European Defense Community (EDC) 60 years ago, Europeans have never managed to advance in this field mainly because of the reluctance of some countriesto give up part of their national sovereignty, yet a series of crises since 2014, such as Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea, the migration crisis, and Brexit, among other issues, changed the scenario.

The pact includes all EU governments except Britain, which is leaving the bloc, Denmark, which has opted out of defense matters, Ireland, Portugal and Malta

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