The European Union (EU) announced Thursday plans to allow the United States, Canada and Norway to join its “military mobility” project, the first time the bloc will allow nations outside its membership to join a military operation.
EU defense ministers meeting in Brussels approved a plan for the three NATO-member countries to join the bloc's project, which aims to expedite movement of troops and equipment around Europe by easing bureaucratic procedures that can slow deployments.
The decision marks a sign of improving EU-NATO cooperation. German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said, “Making sure that troops can be moved across borders within Europe is a very important issue not only for the European Union but also for NATO."
NATO has indicated such military mobility is crucial in the event of a conflict with Russia.
EU ministers on Thursday also discussed plans to set up a military training mission in Mozambique to help the government there fight Islamic extremists.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters in Brussels that developments in the country were becoming "more and more an issue of concern."
"The Mozambique government has been asking for help, we will try to send a training mission... in order to contain the security situation in Mozambique," he said.
Such a mission could be launched in the second half of 2021, and the EU is weighing whether to supply Mozambique’s army with military equipment.