The main EU battle tank Leopard 2A7 manufactured by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Maschinenbau Kiel in service in Austria, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Denmark, Spain and Sweden (picture credit: ©Bundeswehr/Modes)
The further development of the EU’s programme for a permanent military structure (PESCO) was approved by the Council of Ministers on 11 December 2017.
Current central EU military expenditures of approximately 1 billion euros annually will be increased to 3.5 billion by 2021. In addition the 25 participating EU states will commit themselves to spending a minimum 2 per cent of their GDP on defence from that date. The increased central EU expenditures will be for developing new military technologies and providing the central command structures for the integration of armed forces.
All EU armed forces will be integrated into NATO command structures. The 2018 EU fact sheet puts it thus: ‘EU Member States and NATO Allies have one single set of forces. Coherence of output and timelines continues to be pursued between the NATO Defence Planning Process and the EU Capability Development Plan.’ A joint declaration was issued 5 December 2017 strengthening agreements on EU-NATO integration set out in the Joint Declaration of 2 December 2016.