Breakthrough for Third-Country Participation in PESCO Projects
(Source: German Ministry of Defence; issued November 5, 2020)
As of today, [third-party] states can participate in defense projects of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) of the European Union. The compromise proposed by German was accepted on October 28, 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 [Defense] Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer states: “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 PESCO and to European defence policy, as well as EU-NATO cooperation.”

The Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) provides a framework for deeper and binding cooperation among EU Member States in the area of defence. Its goal is to jointly strengthen skills and operational [capabilities.]

When PESCO 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 PESCO.

Of currently 47 projects (one of which has been completed), Germany is participating in 16 and coordinating six, including European Medical Command (EMC) and the Network of Logistic Hubs. The Network of Logistic Hubs will reach initial operational capability on November 16, 2020.

The first phase of the PESCO (2018-2020) is nearing its end. Consultations on the strategic review of the PESCO regarding its orientation of the second phase (2021-2025) are being held during the German Presidency of the Council of the EU.

On November 20, the EU defence Ministers will discuss this matter during their upcoming Council meeting. Further items on the agenda will include the Strategic Compass and threat analysis.


1) Increase defense investments, cooperation in capability development, improved deployability of multinational formations, closing capability gaps and using the European Defense Agency for capability development.

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