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Countering piracy off the Somali coast, training Palestinian Civilian Police, advising the Iraqi government on civilian security, empowering Malian authorities to fight terrorism: 5,000 men and women work in challenging and at times dangerous circumstances to increase stability in Africa, Europe and the Middle-East. These civilians and military may serve far from home, but they contribute directly to our own security inside the European Union.
The Council of the EU today approved the establishment of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in the field of defence with the 25 participating Member States expressing their intention to prepare 17 initial projects for cooperation, selected from a list of 50. The projects cover areas such as training, capability development and operational readiness in the field of defence. They include for example a European Medical Command, facilitation of military mobility, a rapidly deployable Crisis Response Operation Core and Cyber Rapid Response Teams.
The EU and NATO have agreed 34 new actions as part of the ongoing implementation of the 2016 Joint Declaration. These deepen cooperation and also expand cooperation to new issues, including by addressing military mobility, information sharing in the fight against terrorism, and promoting women’s role in peace and security.
Any action that would undermine efforts towards a two-State solution in the Middle East must be avoided, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini said after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Brussels on 5 December. The crisis in Syria and the Iran nuclear deal were also on the agenda of the bilateral meeting.
25 November marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, one of the most devastating human rights violations against women and girls around the world. Empowerment of women and girls requires vigorous efforts to bring significant changes in their lives. To this end the European Union and the United Nations have embarked on the Spotlight Initiative, a ray of light in this ongoing fight. On the International Day, the EU institutions are lit up in orange as part of the UNiTE campaign, to symbolize a brighter future without violence.