This Occasional Paper explores the issue of European armaments cooperation. Such cooperation between countries has often been difficult. Even so, European governments continue to collaborate on multinational equipment programmes for a number of reasons, and successful multinational programmes have manifold benefits.
It is now widely accepted that Europe does not spend enough on defence. Most European defence budgets were dramatically cut back after the cold war and have remained at a very low level ever since. This governmental parsimony has had a damaging effect in two respects. First, it has resulted in glaringly obvious gaps in Europe's military capability.