Portugal’s PM says “no” to a European Army
Portugal’s prime minister has made it quite clear that the government does not support the formation of a European army, preferring to remain in NATO with full support.
António Costa said that this will be laid out in black and white in a resolution from the Council of Ministers as membership of Permanent Structured Cooperation will not be an alternative to Portugal’s place in NATO.
The Lisbon Treaty introduced the possibility for certain EU countries to strengthen their military cooperation by creating a permanent structured cooperation, as laid out in Articles 42(6) and 46 of the Treaty on European Union.
“All the conditions will be explained in the resolution of the Council of Ministers that will be adopted tomorrow, namely what we have already said thirty times and will be laid out in black and white in the resolution: we do not support a European army, we do not support the principle, nor do we support it being seen as an alternative to NATO,” said Costa.
The PM also said that Portugal has supported from the outset the development of new military policies in the European Union, not as an alternative to NATO, but as a complement to NATO.”
During the debate – in which the Social Democrats and the CDS-PP were in favour of joining the Permanent Structured Co-operation and the Communists and Left Bloc opposed – António Costa said it was time to concentrate on reality and to stop the political debate.
A defence spending pact was signed by EU members, with the exception of the UK, on November 13th, 2017, in which they agreed to integrate defence procurement.
The pact was referred to by EU foreign policy boss, Federica Mogherini, as “historic,” adding that “the real problem is not how much we spend, it is the fact we spend in a fragmented manner.”
Mogherini said the pact would strengthen the work of the US-led NATO but many politicians remain wary that this planned cooperation is one step closer to the creation of a European Army.
Permanent structured cooperation – the EU blurb
The Lisbon Treaty introduced the possibility for certain EU countries to strengthen their cooperation in military matters by creating permanent structured cooperation (Articles