Programme Paper

Jay Edwards
  • The European Union's Defence and Security Procurement Directive is a positive move which provides a regulatory framework for defence equipment contracts and exports within the EU. 
  • It will have some success with offsets and non-sensitive programmes but ultimately the European Commission will struggle to create a truly liberal EU defence equipment market.
  • Protectionist practices are commonplace in the EU and considered vital to national security. For the Commission to achieve its aims of lower-priced defence equipment, it will be necessary for EU member states to be willing to foster a more integrated EU defence industry.
  • In the short and medium term this will be difficult for many EU governments to accept. Over the very long term, however, the directive could combine with the effect of diminishing defence budgets to create the basis for a shift from the current protectionist practices.