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Athena mechanism overhaul fails

(BRUSSELS2 – Council of Defense Ministers) There will be no progress on the revision of the Athena mechanism (*). At least, not right away. Defense ministers failed to reach agreement. Which isn't really a surprise. The discussion was already difficult in the working groups and at Coreper. The challenge, however, was not grandiose: it was a question of being able to finance the transport costs of the battlegroups to the place of operations. But several countries, including the United Kingdom, were hostile to this reform. In a very diplomatic manner, the 26 therefore agreed to “ task the working groups to continue discussing the review of (this) mechanism ". (**) A formula that hides badly a failure of the discussion.

(*) This mechanism allows a pooling of certain expenditure for EU military operations, which are financed according to a distribution key fixed according to the respective economic weight of the 26 Member States of Europe for defense (the Denmark benefits from an opt-out).

(**) The Council tasked its preparatory bodies to continue discussing a revised mechanism for financing the common costs of EU military operations (ATHENA mechanism).

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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