"We want a joint strategy, which is indispensable for European defense. We want 'Europe of defense' to be created," Philippe said at the Munich Security Conference, adding that in an interdependent world, Europe could "feel" the tensions going on in different parts of the world, including the Middle East and Asia.
The French minister also stressed the importance of benefiting from the EU cooperation with NATO, as, according to Philippe, a strong alliance means "a more solid European Union of defense."
The French minister also underlined that the European Union should "be ambitious together in spite of political chaos that we live through, despite Brexit," set for the end of March 2019.
On December 11, the Council of the European Union adopted a decision creating a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in the area of security and defense. A total of 25 EU member states are participating in PESCO. The framework should allow EU countries to jointly develop defense capabilities as well as to invest in common projects.