The EU’s Defence Technological and Industrial Base

10-01-2020

The EU’s Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) has been a key focus of EU policy efforts in recent years, not just for security reasons, but also for economic ones. There have been a host of funds to strengthen and reinforce the EDTIB, and to ensure deeper cooperation, avoid duplication and underscore the interoperability of equipment. These funding streams have not been fully evaluated, but they are important symbols of the energy and commitment with which the EU has attempted to create an integrated pan-EU defence industry. There have, however, been challenges. The EU Member States remain predisposed to procuring weapons nationally or internationally, rather than regionally. There is a question as to whether these funds are great enough to be genuinely transformative, or whether in practice they are insufficient in relation to investment in the domestic defence industries. Finally, efforts to integrate the EDTIB also risk the EU being seen as protectionist, which may lead other major weapons suppliers such as the US to respond in kind.

The EU’s Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) has been a key focus of EU policy efforts in recent years, not just for security reasons, but also for economic ones. There have been a host of funds to strengthen and reinforce the EDTIB, and to ensure deeper cooperation, avoid duplication and underscore the interoperability of equipment. These funding streams have not been fully evaluated, but they are important symbols of the energy and commitment with which the EU has attempted to create an integrated pan-EU defence industry. There have, however, been challenges. The EU Member States remain predisposed to procuring weapons nationally or internationally, rather than regionally. There is a question as to whether these funds are great enough to be genuinely transformative, or whether in practice they are insufficient in relation to investment in the domestic defence industries. Finally, efforts to integrate the EDTIB also risk the EU being seen as protectionist, which may lead other major weapons suppliers such as the US to respond in kind.

Външен автор

Dr Benedict Wilkinson, Associate Director of the Policy Institute, King’s College London, UK