Despite growing co-operation in the European defence sector and the increasing consolidation of the industry, no EU Member State will want to abandon skills in its domestic security and defence industry.
This industrial policy creates different opportunities for market access in Europe. It is thus all the more important to use political support to reduce existing competition distortions and counteract political environments that are unfavourable for the German industry.
In addition to the Defence Package’s entry into force in August 2011, politics and the industry must promote a level playing field within the EU by introducing the new Procurement and Transfer Directives. It is vital to call for urgent action to be taken against competing foreign security and defence businesses being subsidised to an extent that distorts competition. Other imbalances are created by subsidies, by several countries’ practices in demanding offsets in procurement projects and by fully or partly state-owned defence businesses competing on the market.
Additionally many of our European neighbours exclude international competition, sometimes in a targeted manner and prefer their own national, often state-owned defence technology industry by referring to Article 346 TFEU (formerly Article 296 TEC).
Furthermore a European initiative is needed to promote international competition within the European defence market. The initiative should aim to achieve unrestricted reciprocity in terms of opening the market in transatlantic relations with the USA. Ultimately the initiative would contribute to removing any obstacles which prevent the US defence market and parts of the global market being more open to European businesses.