The European Union’s (EU) foreign minister has said the bloc is working at “full speed” to create a unified “defence force” on a “continental scale”.
Federica Mogherini, who is formally known as the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, made the announcement at the Annual Conference of the European Defence Agency.
“Exactly ten days ago, I received the letter notifying that 23 Member States are ready to embark on a Permanent Structured Cooperation on defence. And, let me add, that others might join in the coming days,” she said, referring to the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) pact signed earlier this month.
Led by France and Germany, 23 member-states agreed to a common defence fund, which will see them develop and deploy armed forces together.
They earmarked £4.9 billion (€5.5 billion) to fund research and development into new military hardware and the joint purchase of equipment, as well as committing to integrate their armed forces and the establishment of a joint headquarters…