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PESCO open to third countries? Let's stop announcing it every 4 mornings

(B2) We regularly read in the press that “that’s it, permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) will be opened to the United Kingdom, the United States, etc.” Each time, after the sensational announcement, reality sets in: there is no agreement. Some media, Anglo-Saxon in particular, notably the online media Politico, have made a specialty of these short-lived announcements which look more like a buzz, a good 'spin'

En January 2018, the American media announces: “ The EU's joint military pact will be open to countries outside the bloc, such as the US and UK, after Brexit, but only on a case-by-case basis citing a confidential document (1). In September 2018, again, the doors of European defense could open » he announces, based on a draft decision to be debated next month… And lastly quite recently, this November 6, This time, it's sure. « The post-Brexit UK and the US could take part in projects under the EU's new military pact, while leaving China – and perhaps Turkey – outside, citing a new draft proposal (of 5 pages…!). The articles are written with great talent, as our Anglo-Saxon colleagues know how to do so well, but in substance as well as in method, one may have some doubt about the authenticity of this information, as well as the desired objective: inform… or put pressure on the recalcitrant?

In reality, in fact, according to our information drawn from good sources, and without fanfare, we are not yet at the decision stage. “ We're not far from it » certainly, as a specialist in the field told B2. Comment confirmed by two other diplomatic sources. But the decision has not yet been approved. It had very little chance of being so, according to a (very) good expert on European affairs, consulted by B2 before the meeting (read our detailed paper).

Conclusion: to be 'well' informed about political Europe, its defense, its foreign policy, I have only one piece of advice: double-check your information... and read B2!

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

(1) The principle of 'case by case' and the 'exceptional' character of this association are already enshrined in the decision of December 2017 establishing the general framework of PESCO (article 9). There's nothing super confidential about this...

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).