Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)

Deepen defence cooperation between EU Member States

Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)

Deepen defence cooperation between EU Member States


List of ambitious and more binding common commitments undertaken by participating Member States

“a) cooperate, as from the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, with a view to achieving approved objectives concerning the level of investment expenditure on defence equipment, and regularly review these objectives, in the light of the security environment and of the Union’s international responsibilities.”

  1. Regularly increasing defence budgets in real terms, in order to reach agreed objectives
  2. Successive medium-term increase in defence investment expenditure to 20% of total defence spending (collective benchmark) in order to fill strategic capability gaps by participating in defence capabilities projects in accordance with CDP and Coordinated Annual Review (CARD)
  3. Increasing joint and “collaborative” strategic defence capabilities projects. Such joint and collaborative projects should be supported through the European Defence Fund if required and as appropriate
  4. Increasing the share of expenditure allocated to defence research and technology with a view to nearing the 2% of total defence spending (collective benchmark)
  5. Establishment of a regular review of these commitments (with the aim of endorsement by the Council)

“b) bring their defence apparatus into line with each other as far as possible, particularly by harmonising the identification of their military needs, by pooling and, where appropriate, specialising their defence means and capabilities, and by encouraging cooperation in the fields of training and logistics.”

  1. Playing a substantial role in capability development within the EU, including within the framework of CARD, in order to ensure the availability of the necessary capabilities for achieving the level of ambition in Europe
  2. Commitment to support the CARD to the maximum extent possible acknowledging the voluntary nature of the review and individual constraints of participating Member States
  3. Commitment to the intensive involvement of a future European Defence Fund in multinational procurement with identified EU added value
  4. Commitment to drawing up harmonised requirements for all capability development projects agreed by participating Member States
  5. Commitment to considering the joint use of existing capabilities in order to optimise the available resources and improve their overall effectiveness
  6. Commitment to ensure increasing efforts in the cooperation on cyber defence, such as information sharing, training and operational support

“c) take concrete measures to enhance the availability, interoperability, flexibility and deployability of their forces, in particular by identifying common objectives regarding the commitment of forces, including possibly reviewing their national decision-making procedures.”

  1. With regard to availability and deployability of the forces, the participating Member States are committed to:
    • Making available formations, that are strategically deployable, for the realisation of the EU LoA, in addition to a potential deployment of an EUBG. This commitment does neither cover a readiness force, a standing force nor a stand by force
    • Developing a solid instrument (e.g. a data base) which will only be accessible to participating Member States and contributing nations to record available and rapidly deployable capabilities in order to facilitate and accelerate the Force Generation Process
    • Aiming for fast-tracked political commitment at national level, including possibly reviewing their national decision-making procedures
    • Providing substantial support within means and capabilities to CSDP operations (e.g. EUFOR) and missions (e.g. EU Training Missions) – with personnel, materiel, training, exercise support, infrastructure or otherwise – which have been unanimously decided by the Council, without prejudice to any decision on contributions to CSDP operations and without prejudice to any constitutional constraints
    • Substantially contributing to EU BG by confirmation of contributions in principle at least four years in advance, with a stand-by period in line with the EU BG concept, obligation to carry out EU BG exercises for the EU BG force package (framework nation) and/or to participate in these exercises (all EU Member States participating in EU BG)
    • Simplifying and standardising cross border military transport in Europe for enabling rapid deployment of military materiel and personnel
  2. With regard to interoperability of forces, the participating Member States are committed to:
    • Developing the interoperability of their forces by:
      • Commitment to agree on common evaluation and validation criteria for the EU BG force package aligned with NATO standards while maintaining national certification
      • Commitment to agree on common technical and operational standards of forces acknowledging that they need to ensure interoperability with NATO
    • Optimising multinational structures: participating Member States could commit to joining and playing an active role in the main existing and possible future structures partaking in European external action in the military field (EUROCORPS, EUROMARFOR, EUROGENDFOR, MCCE/ATARES/SEOS).
  3. Participating Member States will strive for an ambitious approach to common funding of military CSDP operations and missions, beyond what will be defined as common cost according to the Athena council decision

“d) work together to ensure that they take the necessary measures to make good, including through multinational approaches, and without prejudice to undertakings in this regard within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the shortfalls perceived in the framework of the ‘Capability Development Mechanism.”

  1. Help to overcome capability shortcomings identified under the Capability Development Plan (CDP) and CARD. These capability projects shall increase Europe’s strategic autonomy and strengthen the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB)
  2. Consider as a priority a European collaborative approach in order to fill capability shortcomings identified at national level and, as a general rule, only use an exclusively national approach if such an examination has been already carried out
  3. Take part in at least one project under the PESCO which develops or provides capabilities identified as strategically relevant by Member States

“e) take part, where appropriate, in the development of major joint or European equipment programmes in the framework of the European Defence Agency.”

  1. Commitment to the use of EDA as the European forum for joint capability development and consider the OCCAR as the preferred collaborative programme managing organisation
  2. Ensure that all projects with regard to capabilities led by participating Member States make the European defence industry more competitive via an appropriate industrial policy which avoids unnecessary overlap
  3. Ensure that the cooperation programmes – which must only benefit entities which demonstrably provide added value on EU territory – and the acquisition strategies adopted by the participating Member States will have a positive impact on the EDTIB.

National Implementation Plans

Member States participating in PESCO continue to present annual updates of their individual National Implementation Plans in which they outline the details how they intend to meet the afore-mentioned more binding commitments, including the associated objectives for each time period. The updated NIPs are communicated annually to the PESCO secretariat, and are made available to all PESCO participating Member States.

The High Representative presents an annual report on PESCO to the Council. This report is based on the contributions by the PESCO Secretariat: the EDA, in accordance with Article, 7(3)(a), and the EEAS (including the EUMS), in accordance with Article 7(2)(a) of Council decision (CFSP) 2017/2315 of 11 December 2017. The High Representative’s report describes the status of PESCO implementation, including the fulfilment, by each participating Member State, of its commitments, in accordance with its National Implementation Plan. The EUMC provides the Political and Security Committee with military advice and recommendations regarding to the annual PESCO assessment process.

On the basis of the annual report on PESCO presented by the High Representative, the Council shall review once a year whether the participating Member States continue to fulfil the more binding commitments. Any decision concerning the suspension of the participation of a Member State has to be adopted in accordance with Article 46(4) of the Lisbon Treaty only after the Member State has been given a clearly defined timeframe for individual consultation and reaction measures.

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