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EU nations to launch permanent defence co-operation after years of hesitation

19 May 2017

After years of dancing around the issue, the 28 EU nations have nailed down their intent to launch so-called permanent structured co-operation (PESCO) in defence. Spurred by Brexit and the growing threats to Europe's security, PESCO will enable any self-selected group of member states to pull ahead of the others in terms of policy, defence programmes, research projects, or other areas of defence co-operation.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of EU defence ministers in Brussels on 18 May, Federica Mogherini, the EU's foreign and defence policy chief, said: "The Council reached agreement today to launch PESCO as soon as possible and preferably by June," which is when EU leaders gather in the Belgian capital to review their defence and security policy goals.

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