Can France and Germany Make PESCO Work as a Process Toward EU Defence?

Alice Billon-Galland

By Alice Billon-Galland

Research Fellow

Martin Quencez

By Martin Quencez

Fellow and Senior Program Officer, Security and Defense, at the German Marshall Fund

Monday 9 October 2017

Following the development of several new initiatives, European defence cooperation is once again a hot topic in Brussels. It now lies in the hands of the member states to deliver. France and Germany are leading the process to implement the new EU Permanent Structured Cooperation on security and defence (PESCO), proposing a phased approach toward capability and operational commitments as a way to increase Europe’s general defence effort.

Yet, many practical challenges remain on the way to a successful PESCO, it will primarily depend on France and Germany’s ability to address short-term technical issues, such as the definition of ambitious projects and the monitoring of the countries’ commitments, and to focus on the concrete military effects of this initiative. On the other hand, differences in strategic cultures and models for European defense, although crucial in the long run, should not be overestimate in the current security environment.

This policy brief was written in partnership with the
German Marshall Fund of the United States.

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