05:01 GMT30 March 2020
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    Defense cooperation of the EU states does not aim to militarize the union, but allows Brussels to optimize the costs, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said Sunday.

    ROME (Sputnik) — Mogherini noted that security depended on the states' capabilities to ensure peace and stability beyond Europe's borders not only through diplomacy, but also through strengthening of defense capabilities.

    "A few weeks ago we presented in Brussels the Military Planning and Conduct Capability [mechanism], having overcome the old attempts to resist the creation of the unified military headquarters. At the same time, we set up a European Defense Fund, the budget of which is expected to reach 5.5 billion euros [$6.1 billion] per year… We are not talking about the militarization of the European Union, we are talking about streamlining the costs by cutting costs on the scale of production. Because the best investments are those that are jointly made," Mogherini wrote in an article for La Repubblica newspaper.

    The EU official stressed that security remained one of the key needs of the European Union, alongside economic growth.

    "A year ago, after the Brexit referendum, many predicted that this would be the beginning of the end. It did not happen, moreover, the European Union has become even stronger. We realized that we risk losing not only 70 years of peace, but also law and a growing economy. Together we found a way to restart our Union," Mogherini said.

    The European Union has long been discussing the issue of enhancing military and defense cooperation and creating joint structures. The decision to establish the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) within the EU military staff (EUMS) was approved by the EU Council on June 8.


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