June 9, 2017 – The AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) President and CEO of Dassault Aviation, Mr Eric Trappier, participated today in a high-level conference on defence and security organised by the Czech Government and the European Commission in Prague.
The conference followed the publication of the White Paper on the future of Europe of March 2017 and took place only two days after the presentation of the European Commission's new defence package. It brought together top decision-makers from EU institutions, Member States, NATO and industry to discuss possible ways ahead towards a European vision on Defence.
After keynote speeches of the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Bohuslav Sobotka and the Deputy Secretary General of NATO, Rose Gottemoeller, two distinguished panels, including amongst others the French Minister of Defence Sylvie Goulard and Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska, addressed the perspectives of the Common Security and Defence Policy, and European defence capacities.
Mr Trappier was invited to intervene in the second panel to present Industry's views on the need to develop a stronger defence in Europe. He welcomed the increasing importance of defence on the European political agenda and the recognition by the European Union of the need for a strategic autonomy in defence. Mr Trappier supported the European Commission’s intention to develop the ongoing Preparatory Action on Defence Research into a fully-fledged research programme under the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework. "Defence research is key both for strategic autonomy of Europe and for European economy, creating highly-skilled jobs in Europe" he said.
Mr Trappier also welcomed the new proposal for Defence Industry Development Programme (DIDP) as part of the European Defence Fund (EDF). He underlined the central role of Member States in defence capability development and the need for EU efforts to come on top of existing national efforts. Mr Trappier also made it clear that it should be European companies and European jobs which should benefit from European investments in defence. He concluded by calling for a reinforced strategic dialogue between the EU institutions and ASD.