So what is PESCO when it’s at home?  You can be forgiven for not knowing. PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation ) is something the government deliberately quietly and quickly rushed through the Dail with intention , as far as possible of avoiding public scrutiny and debate.

Socialist Worker


Even the name is designed to hide what it is really about. PESCO really means an EU army or perhaps ‘Towards an EU Army’.

The top Eurocrats like EU Commission president Jean Claude Juncker have long wanted an EU army. In March 2015 he said that “a common European army would convey a clear message to Russia that we are serious about defending our European values”.

But Ireland was not under any obligation, under Lisbon or any other treaty, to sign up to this.

The Irish Government did this of its own volition because Veradkar and co  aspire to being junior partners of European and US imperialism as it shown by their allowing the US military to use Shannon with impunity.

So why the hurry and the attempt to avoid publicity?

So unlike measures they are proud of which they  shout from the roof tops and even announce several times over or measures about which they are reluctant which get kicked down the road and delayed for as long as possible.


There are two reasons . The first is that signing up to PESCO is yet another nail in the coffin of Irish neutrality and they know that the tradition of neutrality is favoured and valued by the substantial majority of the Irish people. In a RedC poll in February 2016, 57 per cent of the people supported enshrining neutrality in the Constitution.

The second is the simple fact that PESCO will cost a lot of money.

At the moment Ireland’s military spending is the lowest in the EU but PESCO commits Ireland to increasing its military  budget  from an annual €885 million to the region of €3 billion.


At a time when Ireland faces no serious threat from any foreign power and is extremely unlikely to do so in the foreseeable future – unless Trump decides to invade Europe via Ireland(!) – but has a severe housing crisis, a severe health crisis, a severe child poverty crisis this is an obvious waste of money and hardly likely to be popular.

Three conclusions stand out:

When it suits them our Government can act very quickly indeed and, expect for spin purposes, they don’t care about democracy.

When it suits them there’s always plenty of money available, especially for war.

Our rulers, for all their ‘liberal’ talk, share the imperial and warlike ambitions of the EU, NATO and the US.

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