EU defense ministers approved the participation of Norway and North America when they met on Thursday.
– Their expertise will contribute to the project and to the reinforcement of military mobility inside and outside the EU. This is part of transatlantic cooperation where we have common interests and priorities, says EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell after the decision.
The project is led by the Netherlands, which will officially invite the three countries.
The objective is to ensure a smoother and faster circulation of military forces and equipment in Europe. The United States has more than 70,000 soldiers in Europe, among other things to support Poland and the Baltic countries.
Canada leads a NATO battle group stationed in the region, near the border with Russia, and Norway is also participating.
– We are happy that Norway can now participate in this Pesco project. It is important to simplify the passage of heavy materials across national borders in Europe through harmonization and simplified procedures.
– Improve military mobility
– In the years to come, we will continue to improve military mobility. This will help increase security throughout the region, Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen (H) told NTB. He believes that many solutions lie in cooperation between the EU and NATO.
Apart from bureaucratic hurdles, shortcomings in infrastructure also hamper the speed of travel.
Examples are roads and bridges that cannot withstand tanks and heavy vehicles, airstrips that are too short, and ports that are too shallow to accommodate certain types of aircraft and ships.
– A big step
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer calls the inclusion of Norway, the United States and Canada a “quantum leap in our concrete cooperation”.
– The integration of these countries is a big step for the practical possibilities of European armed forces. We also see it as a new step in transatlantic connection and cooperation between the EU and NATO, she said.
“Devoted reader. Thinker. Proud food specialist. Evil internet scholar. Bacon practitioner.”