European Union signs defense pact sought by France, Germany for 70 yrs

European Union signs defense pact sought by France, Germany for 70 yrs

European Union signs defense pact sought by France, Germany for 70 yrs

May used a speech at the Guildhall in London's financial district to reiterate Britain's "unconditional" pledge to maintaining European security, including a proposed post-Brexit pact with the EU.

PESCO will not compete with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, as the latter specialises in collective defence, whereas bolstered defence cooperation among Europeans is created to ensure that the EU can respond to various situations overseas in a more prompt and efficient manner, claim European diplomats.

On 13 November 2017 ministers from 23 member states signed a joint notification on the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and handed it over to the High Representative and the Council.

Those governments will for the first time legally bind themselves into joint projects as well as pledging to increase defense spending and contribute to rapid deployments.

"The real problem is not how much we spend", Ms Mogherini says, "it is the fact that we spend in a fragmented manner".

There are strong indications that British officials are pushing hard for the United Kingdom to be included in the Permanent Structured Cooperation process, or PESCO, which is key to the Defence Union plans set out by President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker recently. Traditionally neutral Austria was a late addition to the pact. It foresees the possibility of a number of European Union member states working more closely together in the area of security and defence.

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.

"This is a commitment for countries to do better together", French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said. The move, driven by France and Germany, is misguided.

The EU had struggled in military and humanitarian missions in the Balkans, Libya and in Africa over the past 20 years and were caught off guard by Russia's Crimea annexation.

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