The Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in the area of security and defence policy was established by a Council decision on 11 December 2017, with 25 EU Member States participating: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.
The possibility for Member States to engage in PESCO - on a voluntary basis - was introduced by article 42(6) of the Lisbon Treaty on European Union (TEU) which provides that those Member States whose military capabilities fulfil higher criteria, and which have made more binding commitments to one another in this area, shall establish a permanent structured cooperation within the EU framework.
PESCO allows thus willing and able member states to jointly plan, develop and invest in shared capability projects, and enhance the operational readiness and contribution of their armed forces. The aim is to jointly develop a coherent full spectrum force package and make the capabilities available to Member States for national and multinational (EU CSDP, NATO, UN, etc.) missions and operations.