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The European Union and armaments: getting a bigger bang for the Euro

01 August 2003
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Up until now, EU member states have excluded armaments from the European integration process and have cooperated in this field outside the EU framework. However, there is a fair chance today that this will change: both the work of the Convention on the Future of Europe and the debate on the recent Commission Communication on a common defence equipment policy indicate a greater openness among national governments vis-à-vis possible EU involvement in armaments. This Chaillot Paper argues that the EU could indeed play a useful role in the necessary reform of Europe's armaments sector, because it could develop a more coherent institutional setting and bring in a broad set of relevant Community and CFSP instruments. Both could help to implement a comprehensive strategy in those three areas where action is mostly needed: procurement, research and the defence market.