1 March 2011


Benoit Gomis

Benoît Gomis

Associate Fellow, International Security (based in Toronto)


The 2010 Franco-British treaties have the potential to further bilateral strategic rapprochement and serve as a source of inspiration for other joint defence initiatives in Europe but their sustainability will depend on a number of factors.

These are:

  • The United Kingdom's ability to mitigate its own Eurosceptic fears in the treaties' implementation process;
  • France's commitment to implementing the agreed measures and its capacity to leave behind its political and ideological aspirations when dealing with the United Kingdom;
  • The support of the United States, based on the understanding that the Franco-British treaties do not clash with its global role but will rather reinforce it;
  • A recognition from NATO that the treaties, enabled in part by France's reintegration into NATO Military Command, are most beneficial to the alliance, both as a model for similar cooperation schemes throughout the Euro-Atlantic area and as a contribution mechanism per se;
  • The European Union's focus on capabilities and its ability to see the treaties as an inspiration for a less politicized Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), possibly via the Permanent Structured Cooperation on Defence (PSCD) or similar flexible mechanisms; and
  • The development of a more confident, open and effective partnership between defence industries and governments in Europe.

Project on Franco-British Defence Cooperation.