As of today, third states can participate in defence projects of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCOPermanent Structured Cooperation) of the European Union. The compromise proposed by Germany was accepted on 28 October 2020 in Brussels. The objection period expired today. The compromise provides for an admission process in several stages. The European Council decides on every case individually.
Federal Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer stated:
"I would like to thank all participants for this breakthrough after intense negotiations. We have demonstrated Europe’s ability to act. In two respects, we have given an important impetus – to PESCOPermanent Structured Cooperation and European defence policy, as well as to EU-NATO cooperation."
The Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCOPermanent Structured Cooperation) provides a framework for deeper and binding cooperation among EU Member States in the area of defence. Its goal is to jointly strengthen capabilities and operational capacities.
When PESCOPermanent Structured Cooperation was established in December 2017, the 25 participating EU Member States agreed on 20 binding commitments in five areas.1 These form the core of PESCOPermanent Structured Cooperation.
Of currently 47 projects (one of which has been completed), Germany is participating in 16 and coordinating six, including the European Medical Command (EMC) and the Network of Logistic Hubs. The Network of Logistic Hubs will reach initial operational capability on 16 November 2020.
The first PESCOPermanent Structured Cooperation phase (2018–2020) is nearing its end. Consultations on the strategic review of PESCOPermanent Structured Cooperation regarding its orientation for the second phase (2021–2025) are being held during the German Presidency of the Council of the EU.
On 20 November 2020, the EU Defence Ministers will discuss this matter during their upcoming Council meeting. Further items on the agenda will include the Strategic Compass and the threat analysis.
1) Increasing defence budgets, cooperating on joint defence capabilities projects, improving deployability of multinational formations, filling capability gaps and using the European Defence Agency for capability development