The cooperation in several initiatives of the European defence area is progressing, as it is the case of the PESCO (the Permanent Structured Cooperation in the area of security and defence policy) and the EDF (the European Defence Fund), EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini stated on Thursday after the informal meeting of the defence ministers of the EU member states, which was held at the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest.
As you well know, no decisions are taken within the informal ministerial meetings, but these meetings are very important in order to discuss, in an unofficial framework, about our common work, Mogherini stated. This morning, the ministers talked about the path that needs to be followed in terms of the European defence. You know that for a few years, we established a completely new cooperation framework in the defence area, she added. For me it is a reason of pride, because this is an area where the European cooperation stagnated or got postponed for decades and several years ago we managed to advance this historic matter. The minister estimated that the level of implementation of all the various decisions taken in respect to the European defence is progressing, head of the European diplomacy Mogherini told a press conference held after the informal meeting of the European defence ministers, organised by the Romanian Presidency at the EU Council.
The Vice-President of the European Commission wanted to mention that there is no contradiction between wanting a tighter and faster cooperation in the defence area among some of the member states and maintaining European unity in agreement with the Treaty of Lisbon. She said that this is precisely why the permanent structured cooperation was launched several years ago. I continue to see an extremely European approach both from France and Germany, and other countries that, for instance, were at the center of the PESCO initiative, at that time, she added. I continue to see and hear about intentions to invest in the European framework. (...) I believe that in this particular area, the more countries cooperate, whether they are capabilities, industrial projects or European-level operations, as they do now, the better for Europe, Federica Mogherini explained.
She mentioned that there are already over 30 ongoing projects within the PESCO.
On the other hand, according to the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the defence ministers insisted on Thursday on the need to integrate new EU instruments of the defence are in the national defence planning systems, making it extremely important to fully capitalise on this instruments' potential.
Another topic of the agenda of the informal meeting of the defence ministers was the necessity to enhance and coordinate investments in key-technologies, including in the area of artificial intelligence. Mogherini said that it is an important issue for the entire world and for Europe, and she mentioned her intention to put this topic on the official agenda of the meeting of the the foreign affairs ministers.