Programme Report (this paper is updated from Sept 10)
- Anglo-French defence cooperation is vital. A true strategic partnership between the world's fifth and sixth largest economies and the second and third biggest cash spenders on defence could finally create a European pole of security and defence power that could in turn help to reinvigorate and re-balance a tired transatlantic relationship.
- However, for Britain and France there can be no romantic or nostalgic attachment to past structure and relationships in the pursuit of influence. Britain's relationship with the United States is being re-evaluated, as is France's strategic partnership with Germany. Institutions matter but the EU, NATO, OSCE or the UN institutions must be judged by their competence and utility as levers of influence.
- In an age of austerity defence affordability will be at the heart of the Anglo-French agenda. To that end, a practical agenda would focus cooperation on ten areas: strategic nuclear synergy, naval strike co-operation, intelligence sharing, forging a new security knowledge community, operationalising the Comprehensive Approach, affording strategic sovereignty, defence-industrial convergence, specific project co-operation, European defence-industrial consolidation, a new EUROGROUP and the encouragement of genuinely out of the box thinking based on enhanced civilmilitary synergies.