02 Jun 2015 by Daniel Fiott - Global Affairs
The European Union is still far from having a consolidated defence market but the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) has emerged as a policy framework through which to liberalize and regulate defence markets, protect and sustain jobs and to improve the interoperability of Europe's armed forces; all at the EU level. This article argues that a purely economic rationale for defence-industrial cooperation is being reformulated to include also questions of strategic relevance. Indeed, by charting the transition from a past policy framework called the European Defence Equipment Market (EDEM) to the EDTIB, the article examines the European Commission's role as a key driver in this policy evolution. This article shows how the European Commission is using dual-use technologies to increase its policy relevance in the defence-industrial policy milieu, but it also reaffirms the enduring role of the member states and the importance of national interests.