Seventeen projects are already running under the European Union’s Permanent Structured Cooperation, according to High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini.

Speaking at a press conference following the informal meeting of EU defence ministers on May 5, she said: “Last year at this time probably none of us would have bet on the possibility of having reached already 17 projects under the Permanent Structured Cooperation. Many different aspects of our European defence are well under way, and for the first time ever a proposal of the Commission of the Multiannual Financial Framework – the next budget – includes an explicit heading for defence.”

According to Mogherini, there are many other things the EU has achieved in one year, two years of work.

“Today we had a very intense and productive working session. No formal decisions were to be taken, but we have gone through the different aspects of the work ahead of us, in particular regarding the further steps in the Permanent Structured Cooperation,” she added. “We have decided to adopt a new wave of projects later this year. This shows the level of commitment, but also satisfaction that member states have on the process we have launched.”

The focus at the meeting was on military mobility, which is a flagship project in terms of EU-Nato cooperation. The purpose is to allow for smooth and efficient movement of military forces across the European Union and beyond, removing existing procedural and regulatory obstacles, but also reinforcing the EU infrastructure for the transportation of military equipment.

According to Mogherini, she will present a detailed proposal by mid-June on the European Peace Facility, a new off-budget instrument to finance our defence work, military operations, but also support for partners, and also the possibility to finance military equipment of partners.

“So this is a work that has the full support of Member States so far. I am going to present more detailed options by June.”