Today, in Brussels, 23 European Union Member States signed the joint notification of intention for creating Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO).
"With the creation of PESCO, Member States are taking defence cooperation to a whole new level. The member states have taken a solid step towards more integrated Europe and the outcomes of this cooperation will help to ensure a more secure Europe for its citizens as well as strengthen the pillar of European Union in NATO," said Minister of Defence Jüri Luik.
The goal of PESCO is to further increase defence cooperation between Member States, to encourage larger defence investments, to facilitate the availability of military capabilities for European Union operations, to strengthen defence cooperation between Member States, and to decrease capability gaps.
Member States participating in PESCO undertake to simplify the transportation of military supplies and units in Europe, which is an important goal for Estonia.
Minister of Defence Jüri Luik emphasised that defence cooperation between European Union Member States strengthens Europe’s capability within NATO, which remains the cornerstone of collective defence.
"The creation of PESCO demonstrates the viability of the EU. By engaging in defence cooperation, Member States want and are able to achieve visible results," stated Luik.
He added that PESCO will remain open to all Member States. "It is important that its objectives are achievable regardless of the size of the countries," added Luik.
The creation of PESCO represents the implementing of articles of the Treaty on the European Union that have yet to be implemented. Member States participating in PESCO retain the sovereign right to command their own national defence, and the capabilities developed within PESCO will belong to Member States, who will be able to use them as they wish, regardless of format, including fulfilling their own national needs and those of NATO.
The signed notification of intention was submitted to Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Photos of the signing of the notification of intention: https://tvnewsroom.consilium.europa.eu/photos