Defence Cooperation and Research are Key to the Union's Credibility

  • June 29, 2016

June 29, 2016 - Today Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, presented to the European Council the Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy. ASD welcomes the Strategy as an important contribution to strengthening Europe’s role in the world and developing the EU into a credible security provider.

The EU is surrounded by crisis in its neighbourhood and faces severe security threats on its territory. At the same time, European citizens question the Union’s capacity to act. In this situation, we believe that the Global Strategy comes just in time to unit Europe behind a shared vision.

ASD welcomes in particular the Strategy’s clear commitment to strategic autonomy for the European Union and the call for investment in security and defence as a matter of urgency. We share the view that the Union cannot be a credible global actor without full spectrum defence capabilities, and that defence cooperation must become the norm in Europe to acquire and maintain these capabilities.

At the same time, it is crucial to remind that there are no defence capabilities without industry. ASD therefore welcomes the intention to “systematically encourage defence cooperation and strive to create a solid European defence industry, which is critical for Europe’s autonomy of decision and action”. In this context, we appreciate in particular the Strategy’s pledge for EU funding for defence research as part of the next EU budget cycle.

The Global strategy must now be swiftly translated into concrete action. ASD therefore calls upon the External Action Service and the Commission to follow up as soon as possible with the preparation of a defence-specific sectorial strategy and the Defence Action Plan. The defence and security industries of Europe stand ready to contribute to and support this work.