Austria against Turkish participation in EU defence project

Austrian authorities object to Turkey participating in a European Union defence project, media network Euractiv reported on Tuesday.

Vienna already objected to Turkey’s formal request to join the Permanent Structured Cooperation Framework (PESCO) in May, it said.

In an interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag last week, Austrian Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner said Turkey did not fulfil admission criteria for third countries.

A non-EU state would have to “share democratic values of the EU and (has) to have good neighbourly relations with the EU”, Tanner said.

There is no dialogue between Turkey and the EU regarding key defence and security issues, she added.

PESCO started to include non-EU countries last year to improve military mobility beyond the EU, Euractiv cited the bloc’s High Representative Josep Borrell as saying. Participation from third countries also focuses on cooperation and interoperability among NATO partners, Borrell said.

The EU also requires third countries to provide substantial added value to the military project, according to an agreement achieved in October last year, according to another Euractiv report.