On the 22nd of June, a meeting between the 27 Heads of State at the European Council took place in Brussels. At the end of the first working session, Donald Tusk, during his joint press conference with the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, said that one of the central issues was precisely the fight against the terrorist threat. The EU Leaders have reached an anti-terrorism agreement in Brussels to step up efforts against « foreign fighters ».
In addition, during the meeting the EU Defense Fund was established. According to the declarations, a sum of 90 million euro will be allocated for joint research between governments in the military field until 2019, and then 500 million per year starting from 2020. From 2019 until 2020, 500 million euro will be destined for the development and the purchase of weapons, but in 2021 the sum will increase.
The private industry investments in common defense will evolve to reach 5 billion per year by 2020. This could be considered a key political step to re-launch the European defense, and to show that Europe can rethink its future and boost its integration even after Brexit.
The 27 have an agreement for fighting terrorism and foreign fighters. The EU leaders are committed to launch a series of policies and legal action against returning fighters and the radicalization of young people living in Europe.
After the meeting, Tusk said: “[…]leaders discussed terrorism, which is still a major threat. We are fully determined to protect our people. To that end, the European Council agreed to deepen our efforts against foreign terrorist fighters. […]Leaders agreed on the need to set up permanent European cooperation in defence. It is a historic step, because such cooperation will allow the EU to move towards deeper integration in defence. Our aim is for it to be ambitious and inclusive, so every EU country is invited to join. Within three months, Member States will agree upon a common list of criteria and commitments, together with concrete capability projects, in order to take this cooperation off the ground”.
Maria Elena Argano
For further information:
European Council Site: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/06/22-euco-security-defence/?utm_source=dsms-auto&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=European+Council+conclusions+on+security+and+defence%2c+22%2f06%2f2017
European Council Site : http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/06/22-tusk-remarks-european-council/?utm_source=dsms-auto&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Remarks+by+President+Donald+Tusk+on+the+European+Council+meetings+of+22+June+2017