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European armaments cooperation - Core documents

01 April 2003
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The work of the Convention on the Future of Europe and the final report of its working group on defence have illustrated that armaments might well become one of the key issues on the agenda of the next Intergovernmental Conference (IGC). There are indeed good reasons to use the EU as a framework for action in this field. On the demand side, the growing dilemma posed by rising costs and budget constraints in Europe makes more and better cooperation indispensable. On the supply side, an increasingly trans-national defence industry needs harmonised rules and regulations to organise its work in a competitive way. The EU offers a broad range of instruments both to achieve greater cost-effectiveness and to set up a common regulatory framework. Whether member states will actually use the IGC as an occasion to bring the armaments sector into the EU and, if so, what the solution will look like, are still open questions. However, the debate is open and promises to be an interesting one.