Bring back the spirit of PESCO!
Five years after the launch of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), and five waves of projects later, it is the right time to ask whether the tool still corresponds to what its designers had in mind. Is this the PESCO we want?
The spirit of PESCO
PESCO is one of the main tools in the hands of the EU Member States to further the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). It is a dynamic instrument: in the last five years seventy-two projects have been launched – which could be considered a success –while progress has been made in fulfilling the most binding commitments assumed by the participating Member States (pMS) – albeit not to the desired degree. Yet PESCO faces a series of obstacles and debates that may lead to question its validity and future. Shortly after the approval of a fifth wave of projects, and in view of the fact that the review of the PESCO mechanism will begin in 2024, now is the time to ensure that it is on track.
(Photo credit: Netherlands Ministry of Defence)