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EU on a quest for defence

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PESCO is a failed opportunity to build a common defence, dashed by the need for unanimity and France and Germany’s limited involvement.

Launched at the end of 2017 by the European Council, permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) in the field of European defence is akin to beauty: much is in the eye of the beholder. Those who approach the issue of European defence with pro-European and federalist aspirations see the steps taken in 2016–2017 as a breakthrough, carrying great expectations and hopes. Those who, given their age and experience, have known previous breakthroughs that have petered out are much more sceptical about PESCO, not out of a lesser yearning for Europe but because they are aware of the limitations of the initiative and the obstacles that it will face.

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