Mr. Luke Ming Flanagan is an Independent Member of the European Parliament (MEP) in the European United Left–Nordic Green Left. He is deeply concerned about this militarisation of the EU and is campaigning for full information, transparency, and critical engagement on PESCO from the perspective of peace, global justice, human rights and sustainability. PESCOwatch is an initiative of MEP Luke Ming Flanagan to provide information and analysis on PESCO to his Midlands-North-West constituents and to generate national and European debate on this important question.
PESCOwatch is an information resource on the European Union's Permanent Structured Cooperation in Defence. This Permanent Structured Cooperation in Defence is also known as PESCO.
PESCO is described as an "alliance" of "individual PESCO armies" "pooled to address common threats" by the Federal Government of Germany. The EU states that "groups of countries will join forces to develop capabilities and be ready for operations." According to Jean Claude Juncker, PESCO is created in the context of the EU's ambitions to be a 'global player' and the European Commission's constant calls for the establishment of a European Union army.
Background of PESCO
PESCO was given a legal basis by the Lisbon Treaty (amending the Treaty on European Union) in 2007. Ireland was the only EU member-state to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Two referendums were held for the treaty. The first was in June 2008 and the second in October 2009. It came to light during the 2008 referendum campaign, that the European Commission was colluding with the Irish government to suppress information on EU Defence plans, including PESCO. The Irish people voted against the Lisbon Treaty in 2008 but the second time around in 2009 the government and the EU pushed for a Yes vote falsely claiming the Treaty was about jobs and it passed.
Ten years later, the EU's "foreign minister", Ms. Federica Mogherini, along with 25 leaders of EU member-states, announced PESCO's 'birth' on the 11th of December 2017. A vote was taken by the Irish Government for Ireland to join PESCO on 7 December 2017, with minimal parliamentary debate and no public consultation.
The EU will spend 35-billion euro ($42 billion) on PESCO, including 5.5-billion euro ($6.6 billion) annually on a "European Defence Fund" for weapons. The EU’s common budget will fund defence research for the first time from 2021, which means that every EU member-state citizen will be funding the development of the arms industry, enabling arms procurement and proliferation.