The European Union recently approved the requests of Norway, Canada and the United States to participate in the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) defence initiative. This is the first time, the European bloc has allowed a third state to participate in the PESCO project. The countries will now participate in the Military Mobility Project in Europe.
Military Mobility Project
It is to aid the free movement of military units in the European Union through the improvement of infrastructure and removal of bureaucratic barriers. It mainly revolves around two areas namely bureaucratic barriers (like passport checks) and the requirement of advance notice. During a NATO emergency, the troops can move freely and fastly. However, during peacetime, advance notice is required.
- It is a part of the European Union security and defence policy. It was introduced based on the Treaty of the European Union introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009. Around four-fifths of the PESCO members are also NATO members. NATO is North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
- In November 2020, the European Union allowed non-EU members to participate in PESCO. Following this, Canada, the US and Norway had requested to participate in PESCO.
- Four of the states in the European Union declare themselves as neutral. They are Austria, Ireland, Finland and Sweden.