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Portugal's PM says "no" to a European Army

soldierPortugal’s prime minister has made it quite clear that the government does not support the formation of a European army, preferring to remain in NATO with full support.

António Costa said that this will be laid out in black and white in a resolution from the Council of Ministers as membership of Permanent Structured Cooperation will not be an alternative to Portugal’s place in NATO.

The Lisbon Treaty introduced the possibility for certain EU countries to strengthen their military cooperation by creating a permanent structured cooperation, as laid out in Articles 42(6) and 46 of the Treaty on European Union.

"All the conditions will be explained in the resolution of the Council of Ministers that will be adopted tomorrow, namely what we have already said thirty times and will be laid out in black and white in the resolution: we do not support a European army, we do not support the principle, nor do we support it being seen as an alternative to NATO," said Costa.

The PM also said that Portugal has supported from the outset the development of new military policies in the European Union, not as an alternative to NATO, but as a complement to NATO."

During the debate - in which the Social Democrats and the CDS-PP were in favour of joining the Permanent Structured Co-operation and the Communists and Left Bloc opposed - António Costa said it was time to concentrate on reality and to stop the political debate.

A defence spending pact was signed by EU members, with the exception of the UK, on November 13th, 2017, in which they agreed to integrate defence procurement.

The pact was referred to by EU foreign policy boss, Federica Mogherini, as “historic,” adding that “the real problem is not how much we spend, it is the fact we spend in a fragmented manner.”

Mogherini said the pact would strengthen the work of the US-led NATO but many politicians remain wary that this planned cooperation is one step closer to the creation of a European Army.


Permanent structured cooperation – the EU blurb
The Lisbon Treaty introduced the possibility for certain EU countries to strengthen their cooperation in military matters by creating permanent structured cooperation (Articles 42(6) and 46 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU)). In order to do this, interested countries must fulfil two main conditions provided in Protocol No 10 annexed to the treaty:

They must intensively develop defence capacities through the development of national contributions and their participation in multinational forces, in the main European equipment programmes and in the activities of the European Defence Agency in the field of defence capabilities development, research, acquisition and armaments;

They must have the capacity by 2010 to supply combat units and support logistics for the tasks referred to in Article 43 TEU within a period of 5 to 30 days and, depending on needs, for a period of 30 to 120 days.

The European Defence Agency regularly assesses the contributions of participating countries.
EU countries wishing to constitute permanent structured cooperation must notify their intention to the Council and to the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security

Following this notification, the Council must adopt a decision by qualified majority establishing permanent structured cooperation and the list of participating countries.

The membership of new countries or the suspension of some of them is decided by the Council by a qualified majority of the members participating in the permanent structured cooperation. The decisions and recommendations taken within the framework of such permanent structured cooperation are adopted by unanimity of the participating Council members only.


0 #3 Denby 2017-12-11 23:41
Portugal has been part of NATO from the beginning of it's inception, but I think that Portugal should join forces with the rest of Europe and form a European Army.
-1 #2 Harrison 2017-12-10 11:06
This must be damned worrying to the British military with the now recognised long history of being repeatedly under mined by their oldest ally. Hoping and against hope that the Portuguese military would now attach themselves to this new European Army.
But, us British having stayed out, the beady Portuguese eyes are still fixated on us. Not ideal. Could the cheque books not be brought out up north ? That would swing it, get the Portuguese into this new Army and reduce the need to constantly watch our British backs.
+2 #1 Peter Booker 2017-12-08 08:39
Of course there should be a European Army. NATO is a US institution, and does what the US wants. The European Army would give to the EU some chance of an independent foreign policy.