Transatlantic Cooperation on Defence 1 – session report



organised by Transatlantic Policy Network (TPN) in partnership with AT&T, Bertelsman Foundation, Daimler, the European Internet Foundation , Oracle, Science/Business, UPS and the US Chamber of Commerce (please also refer to Transatlantic Policy Network’s website for further information on TPN)


Transatlantic Cooperation on Defence 1 – session report

How can the EU and the US collaborate on joint defence and homeland security technology initiatives to maximise economies of scale?


“This Transatlantic Policy Network (TPN) “2013 Transatlantic Week”‘s Session 1 was held on July 16, 2013, at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. (USA).

  • Franklin Kramer, Member, Board of Directors, Atlantic Council


  • Peter Flory, Vice President International, QinetiQ North America & former NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment
  • François Rivasseau, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to the US, EU Delegation to the US
  • Libor Roucek, Czech politician and Member of the European Parliament, European Parliament
  • Martin Hill, Vice Chairman, NATO Industrial Advisory Group (NIAG)
  • Rudy Priem, Senior Government Relations Manager for Security and Defense (Europe), United Technologies (UTC)” 


The panel was asked to address questions such as:

  • How can the EU and the US collaborate on joint defence and homeland security technology initiatives to maximize the economies of scale inherent in a $1 trillion transatlantic defence market at a time when defence budgets on both sides of the Atlantic are under growing pressure and the cost of research and development continues to rise?
  • How can Transatlantic Defence Technological and Industrial Co-operation affect initiatives such as “Smart Defence”, “Connected Forces”, “Multinational Approaches” and “Pooling and Sharing”?
  • How are EU and US defence procurement and industrial policies affecting Transatlantic Defence Co-operation?
  • Which measures/metrics should be put in place allowing to evaluate the steady progress of Transatlantic Defence Technological and Industrial Co-operation towards 2020?
  • Which best practices can be shared and are there actionable recommendations for future Transatlantic Defence Technological and Industrial Co-operation programs?
  • How can we improve the way that NATO Member Countries and EU Member States engage with industry in order to satisfy the need for better, faster solutions delivered at more attractive prices, developed to the maximum extent cooperatively and multi-nationally/transatlantically?
  • Which goals could be included in the 2014 – 2020 roadmap for a growth and jobs initiative anchored in the creation of a genuine Transatlantic Defence Market by 2020?

The following observations were put forward during the discussion:

  1. Defence cuts in North America and Europe are a matter of concern in times where security risks are increasing (climate change, mass migration, piracy, cyber attacks, …).
  2. A transatlantic plan to address global security threats is needed. It’s good though that Europe wants to act as a provider of security in its neighbourhood as well as more globally.
  3. The EU still spends more on defence than Russia, China and Japan together. However, the problem is not “how much” Europe spends on defence but ‘how’ it spends it. A better use of resources is required. “Pool it or lose it” becomes indeed a reality. The European Defence Agency (EDA) and the NATO’s Allied Command Transformation (ACT) should continue to offer great ideas and methods of achieving efficiencies.
  4. The fragmentation in Europe’s defence market has to be reduced. The pooled military requirements in the EU are too low in these times of austerity for the many existing defence companies in Europe, producing vehicles, ships, aircraft and electronics.
  5. North America and Europe have to embrace the “Comprehensive Approach” concept. They have to work more with partner countries, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and local authorities; in particular, closer partnerships with civilian actors that have experience and skills in areas such as institution building, development, governance, judiciary and police.
  6. Have to be promoted in the transatlantic security and defence domain: standardisation, common certification, mutual trust in security of supply, more access to the market for SMEs, harmonised/synchronised demand, …).
  7. Sharing strategic interests, Europe and North America, + NATO and the EU, should cooperate more on issues of common interest. Duplication has to be avoided and a more open and transparent relationship has to established.
  8. The NATO Industrial Advisory Group (NIAG) is a high level consultative and advisory body of senior industrialists of NATO member countries, based on national defence trade associations. It provides a forum for free exchange of views on Research and Technology (R&T) and industrial issues, including how to foster government-to-industry and industry-to-industry armaments co-operation within the Atlantic Alliance.  It works in a consensual manner and exclusively in the pre-competitive environment.
  9. Industry is a key partner in the defence environment and has a role to play at all stages from requirements definition, through R&T, supply, support and finally to disposal.  Both industry and government decisions on R&T and procurement strategy will be greatly enhanced if industry has an early insight into requirements planning. The panel also highlighted the effect the security and defence sector has on wider economic growth in North America and Europe.
  10. We need a strong North American defence technological and industrial base (DTIB) and a strong DTIB in Europe and this means a profitable and lean industrial base capable of competing in NATO and also at a global level.
  11. It was recognized that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will have a major impact on trade and jobs as well as on the multilateral trading system.  However it was felt that defence and security be excluded from the mandate. Acquisition of military capability through purchase of equipment and services by sovereign states is not, and cannot be, a simple matter of open competitive procurement.
  12. Enhanced transatlantic defence technological and industrial co-operation (TADIC) has the potential to deliver significant cost reductions in both R&T and production through the economies of scale. In support of this objective, the panel recommended that:
  13. common requirement development and demand harmonisation/synchronisation must be considered in parallel with harmonization of supply.
  14. continued review of export control and procurement processes and policies is needed, taking into account changes in technology, requirements, markets, procurement models and the industrial environment.
  15. thought needs to be given to harmonising government policies in areas such as air traffic management or cyber defence in order to foster the right climate for co-operation.
    1. Europe and North America should not only strengthen its co-operation on defence but also on intelligence sharing.
    2. The Atlantic Alliance is not merely a military Alliance. It is a great political Alliance and a unity built upon shared values. This strong relationship shouldn’t weaken nor taken for granted. Young people and future generations should be reminded of this.
    3. Initiatives such as “Smart Defence”, “Connected Forces”, “Multinational Approaches” and “Pooling and Sharing” are good for promoting potential co-operation, but need action from Nations to turn initiatives into actions. The very successful multinational F-16 European Participating Governments (EPG) co-operation has also been, since the late 70ies, a key to successful maintenance, development, upgrades and even operational use of F-16 fighters in Europe and beyond. Some recent applaudable developments are, for instance: Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) C-17 in Hungary, NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS), the A400M program, the F-35 program, …
    4. The regional factor is an enabling element for Pooling and Sharing initiatives. Neighbouring countries seem more prone to engage in co-operation, as witness the examples from the UK and France (with their 4 November 2010 Defence Co-operation Treaty) and from the Nordic countries (NORDEFCO), but also from the Visegrad Four, Baltic, BeNeLux and Weimar Triangle countries.
    5. A more equal transatlantic burden-sharing model is needed. The US cannot be the only global policeman and the Libya and Mali cases are good examples of Europeans being able to carry out appropriate solutions with minimal US support. This should be encouraged. So, capability shortfalls in Europe need to be addressed accordingly.
    6. The EU has to develop more proposals and actions for enhancing its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). A number of concrete and actionable policy inputs are needed in view of the EU Summit in December 2013, which is scheduled to include a substantial debate on defence (political, military and industrial) matters.
    7. Following measures/metrics could be put in place allowing to evaluate the steady progress of TADIC towards 2020: not statements or communiqués or meetings or letters of intent, but disciplined program milestones, disciplined decision making, consistent predictable resourcing, number of capabilities delivered or developed, …
    8. Best practices should be shared in order to improve future TADIC programs. Inspiration should be taken from earlier initiatives such as the SAC (developed CONOPS, solved integration of non-members in financing and operations, …), install a good management team for the cooperative program, reduce reliance on industrial benefits/return by striving to achieve better balance over time within the portfolio of co-operative procurement options, …
    9. The panel finally called upon the European and North American Governments to start putting in place measurable actions instead of focusing on theory and concepts. “Stop talking about co-operation – start doing it”. Put co-operative programs in place (examples: information sharing, air-to-air refuelling, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), future heavy lift transport helicopter (FHTH), …).

By Rudy Priem – UTC

You may also like...