End of last week (20/21 September), a ‘clarification workshop’ at expert level was organized by the PESCO Secretariat at the EDA with the aim of facilitating an exchange of information between the PESCO participating Member States and to provide details on the 33 new project proposals put forward by them as part of the second project assessment and selection round currently underway.
The workshop was chaired by the PESCO Secretariat made up by the European External Action Service (EEAS), including the EU Military Staff (EUMS), and the EDA. It had three main objectives:
- to develop a common understanding on the second batch of PESCO project proposals at expert level;
- to serve as a ‘clearing house’ on potential synergies and similarities between project proposals and to identify and map expressions of interest by participating Member States for individual PESCO project proposals;
- to provide an overview on PESCO and the way ahead, including on a state of play of the first batch of 17 PESCO projects adopted by the EU Council of Ministers on 6 March 2018.
In view of developing a second batch of PESCO projects, participating Member States were invited to submit their project proposals to the PESCO secretariat by end of last July. The PESCO Secretariat has already conducted an assessment of the projects which was shared with the participating Member States before the clarification workshop. A final decision by PESCO participating Member States on which of these projects will be part of the second batch of PESCO projects will be taken later this year.