Poland, 22 other EU members sign defence pact
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland and 22 other European Union countries on Monday signed a landmark defence pact that aims to boost military cooperation within the bloc.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (centre) poses with foreign and defence ministers from 23 EU member states after they signed the Permanent Structure Cooperation (PESCO) agreement in Brussels on Monday. Photo: EPA/EMMANUEL DUNAND
The signatory countries also made commitments to strengthen their defence capabilities as part of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) initiative, which is expected to be formally launched in December.
Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz and Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski signed the document in Brussels on Monday on Poland’s behalf.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the pact -- which is expected to enable EU states to develop joint military capability and hardware -- marked a "historic moment” and was “something big” in European defence, with 23 of the bloc’s 28 member states engaging both on “capabilities" and "operational steps.”
Britain, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal and Malta did not join the pact, but the initiative remains open to any country that decides to sign up later, officials said.
The Polish government spokesman said on Friday that cooperation as part of PESCO "should in no way be competitive" with NATO. He also said that Poland's defence policy priority was to work with the Western military alliance.