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Differentiated Integration in Defence: A Plea for PESCO


In defence, differentiated integration outside the EU framework is prevalent. Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) would allow a group of Member States to deepen cooperation within the treaty. However, if PESCO is activated only to launch initiatives that could also have been taken without it, the opportunity will be wasted. To bring real added value, PESCO must be sufficiently ambitious and make the step from cooperation to effective integration in defence. PESCO must therefore go beyond procurement projects and aim at creating permanent multinational frameworks, within which all participating Member States can anchor their capabilities. The European Defence Fund proposed by the European Commission could function as a strong incentive to that end, if Member States’ contributions to it could be matched by the Commission’s own contribution. Ultimately, PESCO implies a change of mind-set, from national defence planning and interests to common targets.

Paper prepared within the context of “EU60: Re-Founding Europe. The Responsibility to Propose”, an initiative launched by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), in cooperation with the Centro Studi sul Federalismo (CSF) and in the framework of IAI’s strategic partnership with the Compagnia di San Paolo, on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. Published also as: Oratio pro PESCO, Brussels, Egmont, January 2017, 13 p. (Egmont Papers ; 91), ISBN 979-10-96843-06-0

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