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EU military command centre to kick off in coming days says Mogherini

18 maggio 2017 | 19.18
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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Defence ministers on Thursday gave the go-ahead for a European Union military command centre to become operational "in the coming days," the bloc's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Thursday.

"The decision will be operational if not in the coming hours ... in the coming days," Mogherini said in Brussels.

The agreement is there, the political decision is there, and also the wording issue that ... on Monday was still a little bit open I understand is finalised," Mogherini said.

A draft statement originally to be approved by all 28 EU foreign ministers on Monday was altered by diplomats at the last minute after Britain said it could not agree to the wording of a legal document necessary for the military centre to become operational.

The establishment of the so-called military planning and conduct capability (MPCC) was agreed by all EU member states in March.

Britain reluctantly assented to the military command centre on condition that it not be called a military headquarters.

The MPCC is intended to assume command of EU support missions abroad, which offer training and advice rather than military backing.

Britain, one of the EU's two major military powers together with France, has long criticised EU efforts to boost military cooperation between member states, arguing this could divert resources from NATO.

France, Germany and Italy counter that the current overlapping and uncoordinated military plans of EU nations waste more money.

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