The Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)

On 13 November 2017, at the Joint European Union (EU) Foreign and Defence Council, Latvian Minister of Defence Raimonds Bergmanis and Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs signed a notice on the establishment of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in security and defence, thus confirming Latvia's participation and becoming one of the founding members of the Structured Cooperation.

PESCO is a voluntary agreement of a number of EU Member States to strengthen European security and defence cooperation. PESCO Member States are committed to making adequate financial investments in defence, including the purchase of equipment, coordinating defence planning to address capacity shortages and improving the availability of forces to deal with crises outside the EU.

The launch of PESCO is an important step in strengthening the military capabilities of EU Member States. This will complement NATO's capabilities and facilitate EU-NATO practical cooperation.

The development of military capabilities is planned to take the form of various projects that will be developed by the end of the year. Latvia is particularly interested in participating in a project to accelerate and improve the relocation of military personnel and transport in Europe. Such a project would allow for a rapid response to crises, including at the EU's external borders, through the redeployment of military forces, including NATO forces.

It is important for Europe to develop military logistics or, as we call it, military Schengen. This is also a good area for cross-sector cooperation, as there is a need for infrastructure improvements - roads, bridges, ports, airports. This is important not only for protection, but for the economy as a whole.

Within the framework of permanent structured cooperation or PESCO, Latvia, in cooperation with like-minded countries, continues to defend the approach of gradual implementation of all commitments, especially in the resource section, as well as to insist on PESCO's openness to mutually beneficial cooperation with strategic allies outside the European Union. Latvia continues to participate in the three PESCO projects launched in 2018, as well as in 2021 joined two new projects in the field of cyber and maritime capabilities.