EU defence cooperation: Council welcomes Denmark into PESCO

The Council adopted a decision confirming Denmark’s participation in the Permanent Structured Cooperation. Denmark therefore becomes the 26th member of PESCO.

PESCO is at the core our defence cooperation. With Denmark joining the PESCO family and 11 new projects adopted today, we are expanding and deepening our cooperation. This enables member states to invest together, develop needed capabilities and prepare our forces.

Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

In a referendum on 1 June 2022, Danish voters supported Denmark joining the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy ending the country’s 30-year-long opt-out on EU’s defence cooperation.

As a result, Denmark joined the EU cooperation on security and defence on 1 July 2022, and started to contribute to EU’s military CSDP missions and operations. On 23 March 2023, it notified the Council and the High Representative of its intention to participate in PESCO and its ability to meet the commitments. Denmark has also joined the European Defence Agency in March 2023.

The Council today also adopted a decision updating the list of PESCO projects. As a result, 11 new projects will be added to the list of the existing ones that have been developed since December 2017.

The list of new projects touches on training, land, maritime and air systems, cyber, and enabling joint multiple services. It includes the following projects:

  • European Defence Airlift - Training Academy (EDA-TA)
  • Integrated Unmanned Ground Systems 2 (iUGS 2)
  • Counter Battery Sensors (CoBaS)
  • Anti-Torpedo Torpedo (ATT)
  • Critical Seabed Infrastructure Protection (CSIP)
  • Future Short-Range Air to Air Missile (FSRM)
  • Next Generation Medium Helicopter (NGMH)
  • Integrated Multi-Layer Air and Missile Defence System (IMLAMD)
  • Arctic Command & Control Effector and Sensor System (ACCESS)
  • Robust Communication Infrastructure and Networks (ROCOMIN)
  • ROLE 2F


The Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is a key EU defence initiative. It provides a framework for defence cooperation among the participating EU member states who have entered into more binding commitments between one another. They jointly develop defence capabilities, coordinate investments, enhance the operational readiness, interoperability and resilience of their armed forces, and collaborate in projects.

With today's decision, the number of collaborative projects has risen to 68 and covers various areas such as: training facilities, land formation systems, maritime and air systems, cyber, and enabling joint multiple services and space.

As of today, the 26 member states participating in PESCO are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.