BRUSSELS, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) leaders on Thursday highlighted the need to set up permanent European cooperation in defense, according to the conclusions released after the first day's EU summit.
During the meeting, the leaders discussed the progress made by member states in preparing a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), which would bring more binding commitments to strengthen their cooperation in military matters.
PESCO is also intended to work as a defence research and cooperation fund.
The European Council has agreed on June 23 to establish PESCO at the last meeting.
The conclusions said that the first projects under the PESCO framework are expected to be launched before the end of the year.
The EU summit kicked off in Brussels on Thursday, with migration, digital single market, defense and Brexit issues top of the agenda.