EU to allow Britain, U.S. in on future joint defence projects, envoys say


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium

By Robin Emmott

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will allow non-members such as Britain and the United States to take part in future joint EU defence projects, but only on an exceptional basis, three EU diplomats said on Wednesday.

The decision resolves a long saga over whether Britain, which has left the bloc, could take part in a new EU defence pact, known as Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), which aims to help the EU fund, develop and deploy armed forces together. It will not amount to an EU military.

The breakthrough of an impasse which dates back to June 2018 also helps to revive EU defence integration efforts launched with great fanfare in December 2017, in part to show unity after Brexit, but which ran into bureaucratic hurdles.

In May this year, the European Commission made a long-awaited proposal to earmark 8 billion euros of its next budget on a new, complementary EU defence fund, keeping alive a Franco-German desire to deepen military cooperation among EU nations that have long pursued independent projects.

While the United States, the world’s biggest military power, has 30 weapons systems, the EU has 178. The bloc has 17 types of battle tank, compared to just one in the United States.

“The rules on participation of non-members was the last missing piece of the puzzle,” a senior EU diplomat said of Wednesday’s decision, which will allow Britain and others, such as Norway and the United States, to take part in future projects to develop aircraft, helicopters and weapons.

READ  'Radical and ambitious': Labour unveils socialist plan for Britain

Non-member participants will only be able to come in on individual projects and must bring substantial know-how, diplomats said. The decision does not affect U.S. defence contractors’ traditional access to bid for individual European military contracts in the EU.

However, Turkey, a NATO member and candidate to join the EU, is unlikely to be able to take part because of requirements in the EU defence pact that call for non members to “support and uphold European values”, a second diplomat said.

The Commission this month said Turkey was undermining its economy, eroding democracy and destroying independent courts, leaving its bid to join the EU further away than ever.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

READ  Small business aid could go to VC-backed companies





READ SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here