EU defence ministers approved on 12 November the third wave of 13 new proposals under the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation –PESCO framework, raising the number of joint military projects to 47.

The PESCO framework was adopted in 2017, following a decision of the EU Council. It allows EU states to jointly develop defence capabilities and enhance the readiness of their armed forces.

Five of the new wave of projects focus on training, covering areas such as cyber, diving, tactical, medical as well as chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence training, while the other projects focus on enhancing joint EU actions.

EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said after a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Defense Formation, that the focus now turns to implementation and “making sure that these projects deliver on their purpose”.

The Union’s 2021-2027 budget has €20 billion earmarked for defense, which includes €13 billion for the European Defence Fund.