The Permanent Structured Cooperation: the Sleeping Beauty of the European Defence

Raising the subject of the “Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)” in the circles of power generally produces shrugs of distinterest or disillusion. However, the acronym is frequently heard in Brussels, recently. So, what is really PESCO? A major innovation of the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe, when it was rewritten in the Treaty of Lisbon, PESCO was distorted and became illegible. Therefore, in order to understand what it really is, one needs to rediscover the original spirit of the preparatory works which led to it writing.

PESCO is, with the European Defence Agency and the Collective Defence Clause, one of the three indivisible elements which were eventually to give birth to the “European Security and Defence Union”, the carbon copy of the Economic and Monetary Union. It was supposed to be created before the enlargement. But it was not. Nevertheless, the mechanism contained in it remains intact. It only needs one condition to be implemented: willingness.

(Photo credit : GRIP/Ludovic Sultor-Sorel)