EU launches new era in defenceco-operation
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BRUSSELS — European Union countries on Monday officially launched a new era in
Twenty-three of the EU's 28 member nations signed up to the process, known as permanent structured
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini described it as a "historic moment in European
Mogherini said countries have already submitted more than 50 joint projects in the fields of
She said PESCO, backed by the EU
Their signatures are a sign of political will but the program will only enter force once it's been legally endorsed, probably in December.
German Foreign Minister Gabriel lauded the agreement as "a great step toward self-sufficiency and strengthening the European Union's security and
Those not living up to their commitments could be kicked out of the group.
EU officials insist this is not just bureaucratic
Mogherini said the move would complement NATO's security aims. 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 military alliance does not have at its disposal.
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 NATO has no real foothold.
Under PESCO, EU countries will commit to increase military spending, but not to specifically adhere to NATO's bottom line of moving towards 2
"The real problem is not how much we spend, it is the fact that we spend in a fragmented manner," Mogherini said.
Gabriel said working together is "more economical than if everyone does the same. I think that European
Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.