European Union launches new era in defense cooperation

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini poses with foreign and defence ministers from 23 EU member states after they signed the Permanent Structure Cooperation agreement in Brussels on Monday

With the notification signed, a final decision to launch the defense cooperation framework is expected in December.

A total of 23 EU-member states have joined PESCO so far, with membership optional.

Membership of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) initiative will present an opportunity for Slovakia to bolster its defence capabilities, both for national purposes and in meeting its global commitments, said Defence Minister Peter Gajdoš (a Slovak National Party/SNS nominee) who signed an intention for Slovakia to join PESCO along with State Secretary for Foreign and European Affairs, Ivan Korčok, in Brussels on November 13.

This permanent framework for defence cooperation will allow those member states willing and able to jointly develop defence capabilities, invest in shared projects, or enhance the operational readiness and contribution of their armed forces. "Member States have presented already more than 50 concrete projects both in the field of capabilities and in the field of operations".

DeShone Kizer leaves game after taking textbook hit from Quandre Diggs
Kizer passed for 178 yards and a touchdown and carried seven times for 57 rushing yards and a score prior to the injury. Tight end Eric Ebron's second touchdown of the season moved the Lions back in front after Kizer's injury.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini described the signing of PESCO as a "historic moment in European defense". Denmark and Britain, which have a special opt-out status, are not expected to participate. The EU stresses that PESCO is complimentary to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, in which 22 of the EU's 28 countries are members.

European Union officials insist this is not just bureaucratic cooperation, but real investment that will help develop Europe's defense industry and spur research and development in military capabilities that the bloc needs most.

EU diplomats told RFE/RL on condition of anonymity that Britain's decision a year ago to quit the bloc and U.S. President Donald Trump's push for European allies to raise their contributions to the defense of the continent have prompted EU members to act. 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.

"I'm a firm believer of stronger European defense, so I welcome PESCO because I believe that it can strengthen European defense, which is good for Europe but also good for NATO", Stoltenberg said.

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