Twenty-five European countries have launched a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) mechanism in Brussels, paving the way for the creation of a European Security and Defence Union. The Foreign Ministers of the 25 European Union (EU) countries took the « legally binding » decision to launch PESCO, which was signed on the 13th of November by 23 states – all EU countries except Britain, which is leaving the union, Denmark, which is exempted from defence, and Malta. Portugal and Ireland have since joined up.
The possibility of permanent structured cooperation in the area of security and defence was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty.
This cooperation will begin with 17 concrete projects such as the establishment of a European medical command and the creation of a joint training centre to prepare members of the military before deploying them within the framework of a training mission led by the EU.
Belgium is taking the lead on one of the 17 concrete projects. It has to do with submarine drones known as Mine Counter Measures, Semi-Autonomous Underwater Systems or MCM SUS.
This is a project aimed at developing underwater drones that detect and destroy next-generation mines, specialists in this field told the Belga news agency.