Press release on the EC Communication of 24 July 2013

posted 5 Nov 2013, 00:12 by Jan Wind   [ updated 9 Nov 2013, 12:59 ]
Call for improved “branding”, access to funding and an efficient market

Technology is everywhere. For the armed forces the availability of top class technology is often a matter of life and death. Technological knowledge, funding for technology and capability development, efficient procedures and market rules are crucial for engineers and industry to support the armed forces effectively.
From this perspective EDTA compiled comments to the Communication on the European Defence and Security Sector as has been adopted by the European Commission on 24 July 2013. 

The members of the EDTA welcome the interest of the Commission for the European Defence Technology Industrial Base (EDTIB), and for the intention to foster and invest in R&T and potentially in capability development. 

It is important to improve the “branding” of defence and defence technology. Currently many Europeans and European organisations do not want to be involved in this industry sector. This attitude is hardly comprehensible since many civil applications are based on military technology.
A change in attitude is particularly important for financial institutions, which could help to invest in companies in the sector. An important signal would be given when the European Council would allow the EIB and other EU owned financial institutions to invest in the defence technology sector. 

Currently SMEs play only a marginal role in defence technology development. Particularly not in R&T and capability development. Existing national and multinational associations should be utilised to improve involvement of SMEs rather than EEN (the Enterprise Europe Network of the European Commission) as indicated in the Communication.

In addition to offset related support to improve export to markets outside Europe it is necessary to align the national weapons export regulations of the EU member states in relation with the considered export country. Not only in formal rules but also in practical execution of these rules. This is particularly important for landlocked nations who now need a variety of transit licences for their export. 

A call to harmonise military requirements as given in the Communication is often a call for severe delay and major inefficiencies in the corresponding programmes. There is also a need to foster cooperation on subsystem and module level. This has proven to be very effective and would enable a wider use throughout the variety of armed forces in Europe. 

An improved standardisation mechanism would help for this purpose. Duplication with the long standing and effective NATO STANAG procedure should however be avoided.

More details and references can be found here or on our press download page www.fedta.eu/press

The Federation of European Defence Technology Associations EDTA was established in 1992 and unites 11 associations of engineers and companies in 10 European nations active in Defence and Security Technology development and innovation. 


Note for the editor:
For more information please contact Jan Wind at E: jw@fedta.eu or T: +31 6 23502003