Today, defence ministers from around the EU will meet to discuss and commit to a multilateral defence cooperation initiative, known as a permanent structured cooperation (PESCO)
In a show of post-Brexit unity, the deal–which does not include London– looks to cut wasteful military expenditures by funding and developing military equipment across the continent. It would also look to create a Schengen-style area that would promote the free movement of troops and equipment across participating countries, the common training of officers and the establishment of a crisis response centre.
Still, Germany and France diverge on certain details. Paris favours having a small group of countries bring funding and military resources, whereas Berlin has pushed for a broader, more inclusive pact. France believes a larger organisation could decrease the pact’s effectiveness.
To the chagrin of Paris, it is unlikely that the pact will be limited to a select few countries as almost two-thirds of EU countries are expected to commit to the deal today. France is likely to support the coalition regardless, and it could come into force as early as December.
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Max is Foreign Brief's Chief Executive Officer. A Latin America specialist, Max is an expert in regional political and economic trends, focusing particularly on the Southern Cone.