Defence Ministers highlight timeline, progress on European defence cooperation

  • Petr Boháček
  • 5.5.2018 10:52

An EU Defence Ministers meeting on 4-5 May signalled new deadlines on various defence cooperation mechanisms of the European Union in 2018. The ministers also noted next steps in military mobility as well as new research initiative for main battle tank capacities under the European Defence Agency (EDA).

The window for new projects in the second wave of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) will close on 31 July and is expected to see more ambitious, coherent and sound projects, after the initial phase included smaller and technical Western-dominated initiatives. The second wave will test whether PESCO has a potential to jointly increase European military capabilities in line with the French ambitious expectations, or follow the less ambitious, all-inclusive format prioritised by Germany. Further, the new Capability Development Program, a long list of needed military capabilities for a potential 60,000-strong force, will be published by June 2018. By November 2018, the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence, consultations for synchronising European defence capability development mirroring the NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP), will conclude its trial phase. While cooperation between the EU and NATO continues to be stressed, the level of coordination between the NDPP and CARD remains unclear. The Ministers also approved a new EDA initiative to map out production, upgrade and demand environment for main battle tanks within the EU. On the field of military mobility, a critical topic for EU-NATO cooperation and Europe’s ability to deter Russia, the EDA will focus on harmonisation of military customs and system of cross-border permissions.

About author: Petr Boháček

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