Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

EU to take closer look at defence as costs soar
by Staff Writers
Brussels Dec 14, 2012

EU leaders said Friday they will look more closely at defence as a changing world and tight budgets force member states to cooperate in search of a bigger bang for their euros. Taking up the issue for the first time since 2008, they said the bloc "is called upon to assume increased responsibilities in the maintenance of international peace and security." This in turn will help "guarantee the security of its citizens and the promotion of its interests," a statement said after a two-day summit. To achieve that goal, member states will have to come together to fund increasingly expensive defence projects which are now beyond the means of most. Leaders "stressed that financial constraints highlight the urgent necessity to strengthen European cooperation... in order to develop military capabilities," the statement said. Do that and there are wider benefits possible for "employment, growth, innovation and industrial competitiveness within the European Union." In separate remarks, EU President Herman Van Rompuy said there were several reasons for having put defence back on the summit agenda. "The security challenges that Europe faces have, if anything, increased over the last few years," Van Rompuy said, adding that the Libyan campaign last year had shown up "certain gaps that we need to fill in." Member states have slowly but steadily ceded more powers to EU institutions over the years in managing the economy, a process the debt crisis has speeded up, and it now seems that defence has entered into the equation too. In 2004, the EU set up the European Defence Agency to promote such cooperation, focussing on building up defence capabilities. EDA chief executive Claude-France Arnould wrote earlier this year that EU defence departments were "facing a perfect storm," as funding fell and the world became more unstable. In addition, Washington was turning towards Asia, causing some unease over its defence commitment to Europe, and the defence industry was "struggling" to retain technical know-how as major programmes were cut or delayed. Arnould noted that while "the political will among member states has never been stronger, translating this will into direct positive action is complex." Her point is well made -- Western defence officials repeat as a mantra the need to share the burden but will at the same time stress the imperative for national governments to have the last word on what is done. Smaller projects with fewer partners tend to work better, they say, but have a limited impact whilst the larger ones -- for a tank or aircraft system -- quickly stir national passions given the huge costs involved. After the EDA, the EU set up its European External Action Service in 2010, designed to give it a distinct voice in foreign affairs. With the higher profile diplomatic presence, military considerations inevitably come into play, with the EU taking on a series of commitments, among them the Balkans and anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa. Against this backdrop, EU leaders invited EEAS head Catherine Ashton, the EDA and the European Commission "to develop further proposals and actions to strengthen (the EU's) Common Security and Defence Policy and improve the availability of the required civilian and military capabilities." The three are to report back by September 2013, with the aim of preparing submissions for the December EU leaders summit of that year.


Related Links
The Military Industrial Complex at
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Obama mulls Hagel for defense secretary pick
Washington (AFP) Dec 13, 2012
US President Barack Obama is considering former Republican senator Chuck Hagel for the job of defense secretary as he moves towards appointing his second-term cabinet, sources said Thursday. Obama, who has been close to Hagel since they served together in the Senate, has however not made a final decision on whether to send his friend to the Pentagon to succeed Leon Panetta, an administratio ... read more

Russia shuts down Azerbaijan radar station: Baku

Turkey assures Russia Patriot missiles for defence: diplomat

Japan authorises N. Korea rocket interception

Dutch to send Patriot missiles to Turkey-Syria border

Scud attacks signal Syrian regime alarm

Tehran denies Iranian missile experts in North Korea

Iran to observe North Korea missile test

Severodvinsk submarine launches first cruise missile at ground targets

Boeing Demos Unmanned Little Bird for Republic of Korea Army

Boeing's Reusable, Unmanned X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Begins Second Flight

Mystery Air Force space plane launched

US drone strike kills at least three in Pakistan

US Air Force selects Raytheon to develop future Protected SATCOM System

General Dynamics Awarded Contract Under New U.S. Army Rapid-Acquisition Communications Program

Astrium to provide military X-band satcoms to six UK Royal Navy vessels

Lockheed Martin to Demonstrate Key Component of Tactical MilSat Communications System

Britain's Charles shown Tata's new military-grade steel

US Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System Software Released

Raytheon BBN Technologies awarded DoD funding to enhance text understanding

Argentina on track to buy 14 Brazil APCs

EU to take closer look at defence as costs soar

Obama mulls Hagel for defense secretary pick

More F-16s for Egypt fuels arms debate

Brazil's Rousseff grounds fighter choice until economy takes off

Outside View: Alice in Washington

India minister: we must accept China in our backyard

US seen as 'first among equals' in 2030: intel report

EU says Nobel will spur reforms to keep Europe at peace

Nature Materials Study: Boosting Heat Transfer With Nanoglue

New optical tweezers trap specimens just a few nanometers across

How 'transparent' is graphene?

A graphene nanotube hybrid

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement