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The EU Defence Market Directives: Genesis, Implementation and Way Ahead


The 2009 directives on defence procurement (2009/81) and intra-EU transfers (2009/43) were adopted after a delicate process led by the European Commission and influenced by the member states. As a result, they present significant limits and weaknesses. Over the last decade, their implementation has been difficult, slow and partial, bringing inadequate results. In particular, exemptions to Directive 2009/81 are excessively used, while national controls over intra-EU transfers have not been sufficiently simplified nor reduced by Directive 2009/43. The most appropriate way ahead is an update of both directives through a new and better enforceable EU legislation. This would bring several advantages to both armed forces and industries in the Union, and benefit the European quest for strategic autonomy.