Position Paper on Considerations on the European Commission’s Defence Action Plan

  • July 4, 2016

July 2016 - 2016 is an important year for European Defence, with three documents of strategic importance setting the scene for the years to come:

  • The Global Strategy for the EU’s Foreign and Security Policy, prepared by the High Representative Federica Mogherini and submitted to European Council on 28 June 2016;
  • A defence-specific follow-on document to the Global Strategy, translating the Global Strategy into defence capability objectives;
  • The Defence Action Plan, announced in the European Commission’s work programme for 2016.

We hope very much that the outcome of the British referendum will not have a negative impact on the preparation and the implementation of these documents. On the contrary, we believe that it is more important than ever for Europe to demonstrate its ability and determination to protect its interests and values, and also to convince our citizens that the EU is able to stand and act together for their security. Therefore, we call upon the European institutions and Member States to accelerate their efforts for more and better defence cooperation in Europe.

In this context, we welcome the recently published Global Strategy and its clear commitment to the link between European strategic autonomy, defence cooperation and industry: “Full spectrum defence capabilities are necessary to respond to external crises, build our partners’ capacities, and to guarantee Europe’s safety. Member States remain sovereign in their defence decisions: nevertheless, to acquire and maintain many of these capabilities, defence cooperation must become the norm. The EU will systematically encourage defence cooperation and strive to create a solid European defence industry, which is critical for Europe’s autonomy of decision and action.”

At the time of writing many uncertainties persist, in particular on the envisaged defence follow-on sub- strategy (sometimes referred to as a “White Paper”). This Position Paper therefore focuses on the Defence Action Plan.

Read our Position Paper >