In defence, differentiated integration outside the EU framework is prevalent. Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) would allow a group of Member States to deepen cooperation within the treaty. However, if PESCO is activated only to launch initiatives that could also have been taken without it, the opportunity will be wasted. To bring real added value, PESCO must be sufficiently ambitious and make the step from cooperation to effective integration in defence. PESCO must therefore go beyond procurement projects and aim at creating permanent multinational frameworks, within which all participating Member States can anchor their capabilities. The European Defence Fund proposed by the European Commission could function as a strong incentive to that end, if Member States’ contributions to it could be matched by the Commission’s own contribution. Ultimately, PESCO implies a change of mind-set, from national defence planning and interests to common targets.
IAI EU60 paper, 1; February 2017, 11 p.