8 May 2013 – EU Security and Defence News
Strengthening Europe’s defence industry is indispensable in order to develop and sustain European defence capabilities underlined High Representative Catherine Ashton. Referring to the importance of defence in Europe’s wider economy, Ashton welcomed the European Commission’s engagement towards a stronger European defence industry.
The Commission will present this year a draft communication on defence industries and markets. The first elements of the communication aimed at securing a strong European Defence Industrial Policy in support of the Common Security and Defence policy were presented by Commission Vice President Tajani at the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 23 April.
The Commission expressed its concern about the fragmented nature of the European defence market, and the fact that even in a time of decreasing budgets, contracts are often awarded to the respective national industries. In this context, a modern European defence industrial policy is needed to promote efficiency and savings.
Referring to the negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the US, Tajani underlined the need for Europe to protect its interests and strengthen its position. He commended HR/VP Ashton for her hard work in ensuring a level playing field in negotiations with the United States.