Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Slovakia joins PESCO initiative

PESCO membership will present an opportunity for Slovakia to bolster its defence capabilities

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, centre, poses with EU foreign and defense ministers after signing the notification on Permanent Structure Cooperation (PESCO) on November 13 in Brussels. (Source: AP/TASR)

Membership of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) initiative will present an opportunity for Slovakia to bolster its defence capabilities, both for national purposes and in meeting its international commitments, said Defence Minister Peter Gajdoš (a Slovak National Party/SNS nominee) who signed an intention for Slovakia to join PESCO along with State Secretary for Foreign and European Affairs, Ivan Korčok, in Brussels on November 13.

PESCO membership will also bring closer cooperation with the militaries of other EU members. Gajdoš and Korčok received a mandate to sign the agreement from the government on November 8, the TASR newswire reported.

A total of 23 EU-member states have joined PESCO so far, with membership optional. Whereas Ireland, Portugal and Malta have not yet decided whether to join the initiative, Denmark and the United Kingdom are not expected to participate.

“The Slovak Armed Forces are currently preparing a number of important modernisation projects, an endeavour that will call for great determination on our part,” said Gajdoš as cited by TASR. “PESCO creates leeway for using these forces in a more streamlined manner, such as in research and development and the joint procurement of military equipment.

Gajdoš believes that PESCO also provides opportunities for the Slovak defence industry to become more involved in international projects.

The first project that Slovakia would like to develop via PESCO is indirect fire support, which is slated to be presented as early as this week at an expert seminar in Brussels.

“It has clear outlines, so we’re confident that it will garner significant support,” said Gajdoš, who hopes to draw resources from the newly created European Defence Fund for its budgeting, with an eye towards cutting the financial onus that it will put on Bratislava.

The creation of PESCO is said to represent the greatest improvement in EU defence policy in recent decades, with the benefit being shared costs of EU military operations, joint investments in procuring military capacities and the modernisation of military infrastructure.

PESCO will not compete with NATO, as the latter specialises in collective defence, whereas bolstered defence cooperation among Europeans is designed to ensure that the EU can respond to various situations abroad in a more prompt and efficient manner, claim European diplomats.

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Man from Russian sanction list trained president’s and PM’s bodyguards

Denis Riauzov is on the sanctions list and the secret services believe he is a Russian agent.

He survived the Paris attacks: Slovakia healed me, he says

I stepped back into life and learned to live again here. I don’t think I could have done it in Paris, says Thomas Tran Dinh.

I found people in Slovakia who try to understand and balance things, says Thomas Tran Dinh.

What does this man know?

Prosecutor searches for witness in the case of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová’s murder.

Identikit picture of possible witness in Kuciak murder case.

I am not afraid, I do not work like Kuciak

Sometimes trolls burst into our office and shout at us until we convince them to leave, but they never sue us, says David Crawford from the newsgroup Correctiv who were the first to discover who downed MH17 flight.

David Crewford