During the press conference after the Foreign Affairs Council on defense issues, the High representative expressed her enthusiasm « it is a historic moment. The Ministers will take first formal decisions on the projects for Permanent Structured Cooperation ».
OK, we admit, it was the first ever meeting in the formation of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). But if we look at the decisions taken during this first ever meeting, we can be a bit disappointed. At the end Ministers decided to take decisions later and adopted a roadmap.
OK, it is a start …. but an historic day, really ?
A technical recommendation planned by June 2018
The Council will adopt a recommendation by June 2018 on the sequencing of the fulfilment of the commitments for the phases 2018-2020 and 2021 – 2025. It would specify more precise objectives, the exact commitments to be fulfilled before 2020 and the indicators selected to assist Member States in fulfilling these commitments.
The Council should also adopt a common set of governance rules for projects by June 2018.
Conditions for third-state participation before the end of 2018
The Council will adopt a decision establishing the general conditions under which third states could exceptionally be invited to participate in individual projects. The work to develop these general conditions should start as soon as the common set of governance rules for the projects and the sequencing of the fulfilment of commitments are in place by June 2018. A decision should be adopted before the end of 2018.
List of projects developed within the PESCO
The Council for Foreign Affairs has published a list of projects to be developed under PESCO and it asks Member State for defining objectives and timelines for each project.
An update for the list will be made by November 2018 following a call for new project proposals by the beginning of May of the same year.
Credit photo: @European Union, 6 March 2018