02:29 GMT26 October 2020
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    While the United Kingdom is not invited to join the new project, Denmark and Malta will also not be a part of a joint EU intelligence school.

    With the UK soon out of sight and out of mind, EU Defence ministers agreed to establish a spy school for 25 of the bloc's member states.

    Efforts to deepen intelligence cooperation within the European Union have previously been blocked by the UK, who saw it as a threat to the ‘Five Eyes' intelligence alliance of Britain, the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. 

    Now, with Brexit looming, EU nations have agreed plans for a joint spy training centre and Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) projects, such as specialised Helicopter Training as well as co-basing, which would allow the joint use of national and overseas bases.    

    The new school will be based in Cyprus and led by Greece, while Germany will work on a new generation of drones to monitor land and sea and ways to improve the Franco-German Tiger helicopter.

    Italy will be charged with a new balloon-based intelligence project, called the European High Atmosphere Airship, and used to gather intelligence data.

    PESCO has been viewed by some as the stepping stone to a closer military cooperation within the European Union, possibly aimed at the creation of European army, an idea championed by France and Germany.

    READ MORE: UK as Part of European Army 'Absolutely Crazy Idea' — British Defence Secretary


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    spies, intelligence, PESCO, European Union
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