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.
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.
Aiming to reach operational status in 2008, the Galileo satellite system is planned to offer positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) services worldwide. It will join the ranks of the current GPS and GLONASS systems, allowing users to pinpoint their exact locations.
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). The purpose of this Chaillot Paper is to provide practitioners, experts and policy-makers with necessary background information.
Daniel Keohane explores the changing context of Irish defence policy in light of the rapid development of the CESDP. He touches on policy considerations germane to all EU member-states with a tradition of neutrality who are having to adjust to a new role in a changing world. Keohane also uses defence policy as a metaphor for the changing internal debate at a time when a strong and polemical discourse is underway about Ireland’s role in the wider world.
The first session focused on threat perceptions and threat assessments. The key question was whether a threat exists that justifies NMD deployment. Do the so-called ‘countries of concern’ really intent to threaten the US homeland and, even more importantly, do they have the financial and the technological means to scale up their existing arsenal to true intercontinental range?
What was of particular interest in this seminar was that it combined both a discussion of the technical, immediate aspects of European defence and a more general reflection on developments in American policy and the direction being taken by European construction.
Over the last two years, two processes have considerably modified the European strategic landscape: the development of a common security and defence policy within the European Union on the one hand, and accelerated restructuring of defence industries on the other.
Decision-making is the essence of any authority, in terms not only of operational effectiveness but also, fundamentally, of political credibility. The task has become more daunting since, with the restoration of shared rules of cohabitation in Europe and hopefully world-wide, the number of actors in national and international relations, as well as of objective factors that transcend national boundaries, has increased exponentially. ...