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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-10-18

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] UK reservations about EU defence integration overcome, PM reports

  • [01] UK reservations about EU defence integration overcome, PM reports

    17/10/2003 23:42:40

    BRUSSELS (ANA - G. Zitouniati) Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, speaking at a press conference after the end of the European Summit on Friday, reported that British reservations regarding a Franco-German plan for closer EU defence integration had been largely overcome during the EU leaders' meeting.

    Arrangements for EU defence integration to be incorporated in the future European Constitution were the key issue discussed during the meeting, which was also attended by the leaders of the 10 enlargement countries due to officially join the Union in May and the three candidate-countries Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.

    Simitis said the plan provided for a series of measures of great importance, which would meet the goal of autonomous European defence, where decisions will be made on an EU level, while he stressed that this will always be in cooperation with NATO.

    Until the framework of European defence had been finalised, meanwhile, the plan called for a joint defence system that included a ''mutual defence clause'' similar to NATO's Article V within the European Constitution, as well as a proposal for establishing ''structured cooperation'' within the defence sector. Simitis said this was mainly designed for taking on humanitarian missions, where decision-making will be restricted only to participants, in combination with ''enhanced cooperation'' where decisions will be made on an EU level.

    There is also provision for coordinating European defence industries in the areas of research and production through the creation of a European Armaments Organisation.

    According to the Greek premier, Britain had overcome its reservations and accepted ''structural cooperation'' to create an autonomous European defence system for the EU while retaining concerns over the ''mutual support'' clause.


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