Reaction from Greens/EFA co-presidents Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts on the news that 23 Member States have signed a joint notification on the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) on European defence:
Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts:
"This is a very welcome step towards greater cooperation on defence at EU level. We are pleased that this instrument from the Lisbon Treaty is finally being used. It is now important that PESCO makes the Common Security and Defence Policy more effective on the operational level. With such a huge level of duplication in defence spending across the EU, PESCO has the potential to produce major savings. From research and development to procurement, joint maintenance and training, EU countries could greatly improve the return on their investment if they work together more."
Greens/EFA co-president Ska Keller:
"As the world's second biggest defence spender, the EU28 are not in need of increased defence budgets but of highly efficient cooperation. We want to see genuine pooling and sharing of resources, not an arms race. PESCO must not be used as an excuse to pump further money into military spending and these activities must be financed by national governments, not the EU budget."