The Irish Government is considering joining PESCO. This will be one of the most important decisions this FG/Independeny Alliance will ever make. There needs at the very least a serious debate on the issue, and in any genuine debate form all sides in the corporate media. On the evidence so far this is highly improbable, as is their total lack of coverage of the use of Shannon Airport by US troops.
These are the key points.
An article about the recent signing up to Pesco: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/11/13/defence-cooperation-23-member-states-sign-joint-notification-on-pesco/#
1) the NATO dimension; 2) the necessity to increase defence spending ("regularly increasing defence budgets in real terms in order to reach agreed objectives",); and 3) that the Petersberg Tasks are not as innocent at portrayed. The underlying thread of supporting the arms industry is also a huge point.
2. Also this article from French TV (http://www.france24.com/en/20171113-eu-defence-defense-joint-military-development-cooperation-pesco) which has the following:
"EU officials insist this is not just bureaucratic cooperation, but real investment that will help develop Europe's defense industry and spur research and development in military capabilities that the bloc needs most.
Mogherini said the move would complement NATO's security aims. The EU, she said, has tools to fight hybrid warfare - the use of conventional weapons mixed with things like propaganda and cyber-attacks - that the military alliance does not have at its disposal."
3. Also, this German news site: http://www.dw.com/en/pesco-eu-paves-way-to-defense-union/a-41360236 'EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini described the signing of PESCO as a "historic moment in European defense." The decision to launch PESCO indicates Europe's move towards self-sufficiency in defense matters instead of relying solely on NATO. The EU, however, also stressed that PESCO is complimentary to NATO, in which 22 of the EU's 28 countries are members.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the launch, saying that he saw it as an opportunity to "strengthen the European pillar within NATO." Stoltenberg had previously urged European nations to increase their defense budget.
"I'm a firm believer of stronger European defense, so I welcome PESCO because I believe that it can strengthen European defense, which is good for Europe but also good for NATO," Stoltenberg said.
4. Finally interesting document re EU/NATO Council Conclusions on the Implementation of the Joint Declaration by the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization: http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-15283-2016-INIT/en/pdf
See the attached for more (word doc).