PESCO, EDF are two steps toward Europe’s Defense autonomy

Cyceon recently pointed out the fact that Europe’s will to become independent on defense affairs often limits itself to attractive speeches but lacks concretization in the facts. Since the election of US President Donald Trump however, European Union (EU)’s member countries have told their willingness to “organize independently.”

On November 13, 2017, the European Commission (EC) welcomed steps toward Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) on defense affairs, “a Treaty-based framework and process to deepen defense cooperation amongst EU Member States who are capable and willing to do so.” High Representative Federica Mogherini said PESCO will “make our defense more effective”.

As soon as April 2014 EC President Jean-Claude Juncker stated that “pooling defense capacities in Europe (would make) perfect economic sense,” something that started to materialize within the framework of the European Defense Fund (EDF) launched five months ago.

Summing up, despite ongoing discrepancies and the ongoing dependence on NATO, such developments in Brussels seem to translate some real willingness to build a European defense, however long the path will be for it to become credible and actionable.