European Union member states sign joint notification on deepening defense cooperation

European Union member states sign joint notification on deepening defense cooperation

"So, today we will launch a new page for the European Defense", said Mogherini. He said Europe spends 50 percent as much as the United States on defense yet only has 15 percent of its military efficiency.

"The Germans say respect unity and proceed modestly at the start with all these little projects - they won't help the EU's independent capacity", Mr Mauro said. On November 13 ministers from 23 EU member states signed a joint notification on the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and handed it over to the High Representative and the Council, Armenpress reports citing the EU Council's official website.

Long blocked by Britain, which opposed the creation of an European Union army, the defense integration drive was revived by France after the election of pro-European Emmanuel Macron as president, and Germany after Britons voted in June 2016 to leave the EU. "Not just signing paper - undertaking commitments in terms of spending on defence and joint projects". Frederic Mauro, a defence expert who advises the European Parliament, said he was "deeply sceptical" about the final form of the pact, describing it as "light years" away from the concept of defence cooperation foreseen in EU treaties. This could take place at the next Foreign Affairs Council on 11th December. This has led to unease by European allies that the U.S. was not committed to the alliance's mutual defence pact.

The EU, she said, has tools to fight hybrid warfare - the use of conventional weapons mixed with things such as propaganda and cyber-attacks - that the military alliance does not have at its disposal.

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The new initiative aims to spend more on defense systems and make member countries' militaries much more integrated with each other.

Ultimately Pesco could be overseen by a European operational headquarters or logistics base. Stoltenberg had previously urged European nations to increase their defense budget.

The news comes as Veterans for Britain spokesman David Banks warns that Britain is not only on the hook for European Union spending on defence integration, but actually being entangled in various plans for ad hoc joint headquarters, procurement, research schemes itself.

Speaking to the press on Sunday, following a memorial event in Nicosia district, the Minister said that the government looks forward to creating the conditions for the presence of a European Defence Force that will strengthen Cyprus' defence shield.

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