Canada, Norway, and the United States are joining the Netherlands-led EU Military Mobility Project. This was decided today at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council of Defense Ministers in Brussels.
Canada, Norway, and US join in EU project for European military mobility
MilitaryEzyInfo.com – It is the 1st time that non-European Union countries are joining a project in the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) partnership.
The Netherlands is the driving force behind the project. The aim is to simplify cross-border military transport in Europe. Military personnel now often encounter administrative and infrastructural problems, such as customs formalities or roads and bridges that are too narrow. According to Minister Ank Bijleveld-Schouten, it fits in with the role of the Netherlands as the ‘gateway to Europe’ to tackle these problems. And improving military mobility strengthens Europe’s military clout.
And in that area, there is work to be done, according to Bijleveld. “Europe must be able to act independently when European interests are at stake. In doing so, we also make NATO stronger. The ability to move and deploy military personnel and their equipment quickly is essential for a credible deterrent. It is wonderful that we can add 3 important NATO members to our European project.”
“As project leaders, we have looked forward to this for a long time and worked hard to achieve it. With this project, we ensure that we can continue to improve military mobility in the years to come, and it also benefits the transatlantic relationship and EU-NATO cooperation.”
The added value of these countries in terms of military mobility in Europe is high. The US and Canada both regularly move large numbers of units through Europe and have a lot of expertise in this. Norway has a lot of experience with movements in northern Europe. To remove some of the ‘obstacles’ in the Netherlands, the Dutch cabinet recently agreed to the National Military Mobility Plan. According to this plan, 3 corridors will be set up especially for military movements. This will prevent delays as much as possible.
PESCO is a partnership in which 25 EU member states work more closely together in the field of defense. In the meantime, these member states have started 47 projects. All 25 countries participate in the Military Mobility project. Since last November, PESCO projects are in principle open to other (non-EU) countries.