Report of Eurodefense conference on the new EC defence industry policy

posted 1 Dec 2013, 13:42 by Jan Wind   [ updated 1 Dec 2013, 13:45 ]
On 10 October the European network of Eurodefense held a conference in The Hague related to the Communication by the European Commission on the European Defence and Security Sector of 24 July 2013 an the upcoming European Council on Defence.

The keynote speech of the conference was held by Claude-France Arnould, Chief Executive of the European Defense Agency (EDA). Arnould highlighted the importance of the meeting on defense of the European Council in December 2013 for the future of the EU’s defense capabilities. Heads of state should see the importance of defense and therefore budgets should be released to support EDA.

Lt. Gen. Wolfgang Wosolsobe, Director General EU Military Staff, said the shrinking national defense budget is an enemy that is less predictable and visible than any regular enemy. Also he said the ‘pivot to Asia’ of the US leads to more responsibility for the EU, not only to maintain its own security but also to be the leading actor in interventions in neighboring countries which includes the volatile Middle-East & North Africa region.

Gen. (ret.) Jean-Paul Perruche, former Director General EU Military Staff and president of EURODEFENSE-France, pointed out that the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) has functioned well in the past, but there is no clear strategy for the future which would state the capabilities of the CSDP; what possibilities to project power abroad it should have. Also, the relationship with NATO is not entirely clear. There appear to be cases were competition or duplication exists.

Slawomir Tokarski, Head of Unit Directorate General Enterprise European Commission, showed the problem of duplications during his presentation. The EU is using more military platforms than the USA. The EU has almost three times as many military platforms in use and two times as many in production.

Joost van Iersel, Rapporteur of the European Economic and Social Council and member of EURODEFENSE-Nederland, argued that the only way to attain a real common defence approach in the EU is to get the European Commission actively on board. An active role for the Commission and EDA is absolutely necessary if the EU member states really want to develop and achieve common goals, if not for all Member States, at least for the willing among them. 

The chair thanked all speakers and participants and ended the conference. The day was concluded by a reception followed by a dinner at the Royal Institute of Engineers (KIVI NIRIA) including speeches by Godelieve van Heteren, president of the European Movement of the Netherlands (EBN) and Jan Wind, chairman Defence and Security Division KIVI NIRIA and president Federation of European Defence Technology Associations (EDTA).

More information can be found in the downloadable reports and presentations below.

Jan Wind,
1 Dec 2013, 13:42