Twenty-two countries have signed up today to a new European defence pact (PESCO) to enhance their structural defence cooperation. Under the initiative, countries commit to align the compatibility of their military systems and to jointly invest in the development of new materials. Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake has earlier called for increased EU defence cooperation and welcomes the steps taken today.
Schaake: "We can only stand up to military threats if we have credible capabilities. While Putin continues to stoke tensions across the globe, Trump only adds fuel to the flames of already tense situations, like in North Korea and Syria. Europe needs to be more alert than ever. By working together, the member states can built the capacity needed to confront countries such as Russia. The new level of cooperation proposed today is not only more efficient, it is a bare necessity.
Today's proposal mainly deals with cooperation on military hardware and its usage. Schaake believes cybersecurity should also be added to this agreement.
Schaake: "The Netherlands has committed to spend an extra 95 million euro on cybersecurity. This is a step in the right direction but the internet knows no boundaries. One weak link within Europe constitutes a risk for all member states and undermines the investments undertaken by others It is therefore essential that member states also include cybersecurity in their agreements on military cooperation.