Estonia joins EU defense cooperation initiative
During a meeting held in Brussels on Wednesday, the Estonian government decided that Estonia will join the EU framework for permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) in the field of defense.
"Estonia today decided that should PESCO materialize, Estonia definitely wishes to be a part of that cooperation," Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said at a press conference following the government meeting in Brussels. He said that it was time now to decide whether Estonia wants even closer cooperation in the field of defense policy in the EU and, if, so, "PESCO is the word we should be using."
Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna described PESCO as a structure to be established by the EU that will seek to increase military capabilities, military investments, defense industry and innovation. "This is a topic that will be on the table during our presidency and the government clearly decided today to join that initiative and support it," said Tsahkna.
According to the defense minister, NATO and the EU are both guarantors of the security and sovereignty of Estonia.
Permanent structured cooperation in the field of defense within the EU has been set out under the Lisbon treaties as well, in accordance with which one would be gradually moving from existing bilateral and multilateral agreements on military cooperation toward coordinated cooperation between all countries that express the wish to engage in such cooperation.
Editor: Aili Vahtla