EU’s defence research could collide with US practice

  • Tomáš Hošek
  • 20.9.2017 16:29

On 6 September, ARES, a network of European think-tanks, published a research study concerning the impact of the planned European Defence Research Programme on the US-EU defence relations. According to the authors, strengthened EU cooperation under this programme would require changing the existing practice of bilateral agreements made by the US with individual European countries.

The bilateral agreements with the US make the deepening of cooperation among the EU member states considerably more difficult, the transatlantic bilateral relations thus currently hinder the establishment of a European defence industrial policy, the report says. The Union should therefore ensure that agreements with third countries do not weaken efforts to boost the competitiveness of the European defence and industrial base in order to achieve a certain level of strategic autonomy. Only a few days after the study's release, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker stressed the need to establish an EU Defence Union by 2025. Moreover, a definite framework for the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is currently being finalised, allowing the member states to develop a comprehensive defence strategy. Support for this initiative has already been expressed by the German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen or NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

About author: Tomáš Hošek

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