EU Defense Ministers Take Initial Steps to Open Up Arms Competition

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Back on July 7, 2005, DID covered the ongoing efforts of the EU’s European Defense Agency head Nick Whitney to create a radical push for greater integration in Europe’s defense industry, and greater cooperation on transnational defense procurement programs. Today’s story covering the FREMM frigate program may appear to be a cautionary tale; nevertheless, our updated story covering the flurry of European defense integration studies and proposals clearly indicates the political-bureaucratic interest in the general concept. Now, European Union defence ministers have agreed on a new plan that appears to advance Whitney’s aims on the bureaucratic front. Discussions will begin on Nov. 21, 2005 re: attaching a code of conduct to this agreement – and that’s precisely where things are likely to get interesting. Agence France Presse reports that The plan involves a voluntary system drawn up by the European Defence Agency (EDA) whereby defence contracts worth more than EUR 1 million (currently about $1.2 million dollars) would be advertised on a single electronic portal so companies across Europe could tender for them. Accompanying this effort to improve transparency and reduce international transaction costs will be stricter European Commission enforcement. About half of the current European defense contracts can be […]

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