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Mogherini claims “historic day” for EU defence

“It is going to be quite a historic day today for European defence. Today, after so many years, the provision of the Lisbon Treaty establishing the possibility for the European Union Member States to have a Permanent Structured Cooperation on defence is going to be initiated” – said EU top diplomat upon her arrival at the Foreign Affairs Council in Defence format.

“I expect to receive a letter – a notification letter – from a high number of Member States, more than 20, indicating their will to start a Permanent Structured Cooperation. This will allow us to prepare a Council decision already in the next weeks” – Mogerini continued.

“I expect the next Foreign Affairs Council to adopt this formal decision so that we will be able to launch, for the first time ever, a European Defence Permanent Structured Cooperation with concrete projects that Member States have presented already – more than 50 concrete projects both in the field of capabilities and in the field of operations.”

“So, today we will launch a new page for the European Defence and I think this will be the news of the day.”

“We will also discuss with the NATO Secretary General [Jens Stoltenberg] our EU-NATO cooperation that is advancing extremely well. In December, with [Jens] Stoltenberg, we will present the second report on our common activities, more than 42 concrete measures that have already been implemented, and we will also look at the future fields for cooperation.”

“We will expand on the concrete ideas on which we cooperate and we will have a discussion today with the Defence Ministers and [Jens] Stoltenberg on this.”

“With the Foreign Ministers in the morning we will also have short points: one on the Summit between the European Union and the African Union which will take place at the end of the month in Abidjan – a very important summit for strengthening our partnership-; and one point on strategic communication.”

“You know we have very much increased our communication, especially with the focus on Eastern Europe, but also on the Western Balkans and on the Mediterranean. We will discuss with the Ministers how they can further support this work that I have initiated two years ago for the East Strategic Communication Task Force, and this summer on the Western Balkans and the Mediterranean.”

“I expect Member States and Ministers to support my request to increase the budget for strategic communication, especially for the Task Forces. We live in times when communicating both internally in the European Union and in our region, the value of the actions of the European Union has a political value, so I expect support from the Member States on this.”

 

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