EPRSLibrary By / December 19, 2013

European defence cooperation: New impetus needed

The December 2013 European Council summit is due to debate the EU’s security and defence policy. Many expect the summit…

© [michaklootwijk] / Fotolia

The December 2013 European Council summit is due to debate the EU’s security and defence policy. Many expect the summit to give renewed impetus to European defence, as economic austerity has had a severe impact on the defence budgets and military capabilities of EU Member States (MS).

Amy camouflage uniform with flag on it, EU
© [michaklootwijk] / Fotolia
Moreover, the EU’s future ability to protect its interests and act as a security provider may be affected by a range of factors. These include an unpredictable strategic environment, the announced US “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific region, and the lack of investment in defence.

The importance of greater cooperation in further developing the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), in closing capability gaps and in strengthening the European defence industry is increasingly underlined in both academic and official circles. Strengthening CSDP constitutes the object of recent EU proposals – a Commission communication and a report from the High Representative (HR/VP). It has also been a recurrent demand from the United States (US) and NATO, which expect Europeans to assume a bigger share of the security burden.

However, MS are still reluctant to cooperate fully in an area they consider clearly a matter of national sovereignty.

Read the complete briefing here.

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  • The problem we have is EU nations would chose the cheap option every time when it comes to planes, tamls, submarines & surface ships which like Galileo would be delivered late & at massive cost overruns making them as expensive as the best equipment available off the shelf from the Americans. Ask yourself how many EU countries would build or have the capacity to build Trident Submarines or £Billion destroyers capable of defending 70,000 aircraft carriers which again would never get built if we needed a consensus from other members of the EU. It is no good saying invest “X” amount of a percentage of GDP in defense, this doesn’t procure equipment that will do the job of defending national interests in the 21st century

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