Netherlands Advisory Council on International Affairs report on European Defence cooperation: "sovereignty and the capacity to act"

posted 13 Apr 2012, 09:48 by Jan Wind   [ updated 13 Apr 2012, 13:37 by Jan Wind ]

Recently an important report on European Defence Cooperation was published by the Netherlands High Council on International Affairs (AIV).  The report is now available in the English language.

The AIV emphasises that the need for European defence cooperation is greater than ever. The latest round of severe cuts in defence expenditure in numerous European countries means that there is once again a real possibility that substantial military capability will be lost. At the same time, the NATO operation in Libya has demonstrated that there are still essential military shortfalls in Europe. These shortfalls concern, among other things, the capacity to identify enemy targets and eliminate them with great accuracy and to carry out in-flight refuelling of fighter aircraft. The Libya operation has in this respect shown how dependent Europe still is on the United States. The AIV views this dependence as a problem since the United States appears to be focusing more and more on Asia and is assuming that Europe will be increasingly capable of standing on its own two feet. It can no longer be taken for granted that the United States will provide military assistance to European countries in future crisis situations which are not covered by article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and in which its interests are affected only indirectly, if at all. This is why the European countries must set about in earnest enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of their military capabilities. There is also every reason for this because their joint defence output is lacking in terms of their capacity to deploy a substantial force in conflict areas outside Europe.

Download the report and its Conclusions and Recommendations below, or visit the English edition of the AIV website through this link.

Any questions may be sent to the Royal Institute of Engineers in the Netherlands at, for forwarding to the authors.