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Permanent structured cooperation

The Lisbon Treaty introduces the possibility for certain Member States to strengthen their cooperation in military matters by creating permanent structured cooperation (Article 42(6) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU)). In order to do this, interested Member States must fulfil two main conditions provided in Protocol No 10 annexed to the Treaty:

  • intensively develop defence capacities through their participation in multinational forces, in the main European equipment programmes, and in the activities of the Agency in the field of defence capabilities development, research, acquisition and armaments;
  • by 2010 supply combat units and support logistics within a period of five to 30 days and, depending on needs, for a period of 30 to 120 days.

The European Defence Agency regularly assesses the contributions of participating Member States.

Member States wishing to constitute permanent structured cooperation shall notify their intention to the Council and to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Following this notification the Council shall adopt a decision by qualified majority establishing permanent structured cooperation and the list of participating States. The membership of new Member States or the exclusion of some of them is decided by the Council by a qualified majority of the members participating in the permanent structured cooperation. The decisions and recommendations taken within the framework of such a permanent structured cooperation are adopted by unanimity of the participating Council members only.

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