The European Union (EU) recently approved the requests of United States (US), Norway, and Canada and to participate in Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) defence initiative.
This is the first time that the European bloc has allowed a third state to participate in the PESCO project.
The countries will now participate in the Military Mobility Project in Europe.
The Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is the part of the European Union’s (EU) security and defence policy (CSDP) in which 25 of the 27 national armed forces pursue structural integration.
It was introduced based on Article 42.6 and Protocol 10 of the Treaty on European Union introduced by Treaty of Lisbon in 2009.
PESCO was first initiated in 2017 after Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
The PESCO framework was created with the intention to deepen defence cooperation among the 25 participating EU member states, help fund, develop and deploy armed forces together and make the EU’s defence sector more flexible and independent of the US.
Note: Around four-fifth members of PESCO are also the members of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).
About Military Mobility:
Military mobility aims at improving the exchange of information between EU countries and cutting red tape at borders, including harmonizing customs rules to allow for swift deployments and easier transport of military equipment.
In November 2020, the European Union allowed non-EU members to participate in PESCO.
Following this, Canada, US and Norway had requested to participate in PESCO.
Neutral States in PESCO:
Four of the states in European Union declare themselves as neutral.
They are Austria, Finland, Ireland, and Sweden.