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.
Deepening defence cooperation among EU Member States: Permanent Structured Cooperation — PESCO, factsheet https://t.co/iu4GJxbQfR— European External Action Service — EEAS 🇪🇺 (@eu_eeas) November 19, 2018
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.
Today In Aviation History— PAF Falcons (@PAF_Falcons) April 27, 2018
On April 27, 1991, the #EurocopterTiger attack helicopter flew for the first time. The #Eurocopter Tiger was planned in 1984 to meet #French and #German requirements for an advanced multi-role type for battlefield operations. pic.twitter.com/hyGIh11hLG
Italy will be charged with a new balloon-based intelligence project, called the European High Atmosphere Airship, and used to gather intelligence data.
Included in European #PESCO projects — a European High Atmosphere— Tim Robinson (@RAeSTimR) November 20, 2018
Airship Platform (EHAAP) for persistent ISR with Italy, France as partners. Military role for Thales Stratobus? #avgeek https://t.co/Y7BfSQN2zV pic.twitter.com/n64GvBlnkX
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.