Print version

Observatory on European defence, September 2007


25 September 2007
European Defence Agency - European Defence Market

The Agency Steering Committee, held at the level of National Armaments Directors, has approved concrete, specific steps and timetables for implementing a strategy to develop the Defence Technological and Industrial Base (DTIB) approved last May.
Priority actions will be taken in the following sectors:
- identification of key industrial capabilities
- security of supplying
- increasing competitiveness in the equipment market
- strengthening and diversifying supplying base
- improving cooperation in research
The Directors have approved a Code of Conduct for the coordination of investments in the Defence Test and Evaluation Base (DTEB) sector. The Code, to which states can adhere on a voluntary base, allows for the diffusion of information on investments in DTEB for a value higher than 1 million euros in order to favour joint investments and shared use of such expensive and often under-used structures.
Finally, the Steering Committee took note of the first functioning balance of the Code of Conduct on defence public procurement entered into force 1 July 2006. The Code, voluntary and not legally binding, contributes to concurrently opening European military procurement markets regarding those contracts that make the exception to Article 296 of the European Community Treaty (ECT) - and so excluded from the common market rules - allowing information exchanges among partners on national call for tenders of a value higher than 1 million euros. Evaluations after 1 year of activities are cautious. Transparency has increased since calls for tenders visible on the Agency's electronic bulletin are rising continuously: by 1 September, 15 out of 24 member states had inserted 227 calls for an estimated global value of about 10 million euros. Nonetheless, it is still necessary to incrementally increase cross-borders offers and awards.

September 2007 
ESDP Missions - Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Afghanistan, Enhancement of African Crisis Management Capabilities

The impact on the security of neighbouring states on the Darfur crisis area (Sudan) gave place to a military ESDP mission to support the deployment of a UN force in eastern Chad and in the north of the Central African Republic. On 22 September, the EU Council approved the "crisis management concept" for planning. The mission will secure those areas and related refugee camps and will have permission to use force. The contingent will comprise of up to 4,000 troops deployed initially for one year with head-quarters in Paris. On 25 September, the UN Security Council Resolution number 1778 authorized the deployment of the mission that will also be supported by UN police forces (about 300 policemen).
On 14 September, the Political and Security Committee (PSC) approved the envoy of a second fact-finding mission in Guinea-Bissau for the preparation of an ESDP consulting mission to reform the security sector.
On 18 September, the PSC evaluated the situation of the ESDP police mission EUPOL Afghanistan started on 15 June. Some problems emerged linked to the operation command due to the renunciation after only 3 months of its charge by German General Eichele. This was due mainly to the European difficulties in the preparation of the second phase of the deployment, slowed by the delay in both the availability of armoured vehicles funded by the European Commission and the sending of personnel by European countries. The deployment of almost 200 policemen for the training of local forces has been realized by half (the fulfilment is expected by the first half of 2008).
On 21 September, the PSC gave its political compliance for the implementation of a plan that will allow French training and an exercise program for African troops, Reinforcement of African Peace-keeping Capacities (RECAMP), to pass under EU authority. The next training cycle will be called "Euro-Recamp 1"and, keeping France as the framework nation, will receive half of its funding by the Commission and the rest by participating states on a voluntary basis.

September 2007
EU Capabilities - Reasearch, Galileo

On 11 September, the inaugural meeting of the "European Security Research and Innovation Forum" (ESRIF), gathering about 70 independent experts from the public and private sector, led by the Dutch de Vries, ex-European antiterrorism coordinator, took place. The aim of the meeting was to propose recommendations for research scheduling in the field of security related to the Seventh Framework Program (1.4 billion euros for security and 750 million euros for security and freedom safeguard). Stakeholders and Commissioners will actively participate in the Forum activities that will conclude in 2009. ESRIF is part of a progression of programs that includes the activities of the European Security Research Advisory Board (ESRAB) (April 2005/December 2006) and in 2004 those of the Group of Personalities (GOP).
On 19 September, the European Commission published a communication for the fulfilment of the European navigation satellite system Galileo, stranded by the public/private partnership failure that had to assure the funding. The new plan expects public funding that will allow the program's effectiveness in 2013, with a delay of three years on the timetable. The proposal, which will be submitted to the Transport Council in October and to the European Parliament, relies on the drawing of general EU funds corresponding to the Agriculture and Administration funds (2,189 billion euros for 2007 and 2008), to which resources of the Seventh Framework Program are added. This figure covers Galileo (2.4 billion euros) and the European Technology Institute (309 million euros).

September 2007
NATO - NATO Response Force

Some problems emerged in the sustainability of the NATO Response Force (NRF) after one year of its full effectiveness. The difficulties found by allies are due to the strong commitment required by the participation in operations all over the world and not only within the NATO framework. In order to have the availability of high readiness for 25,000 troops, the rotation system needs the same number of troops in the re-deployment phase and as many in the training phase. Among the possible solutions, there is the option of a reduction of troops in stand-by and a restriction of the mandate that foresees no-combat personnel rescue operations, terrorism contrast operations, and embargo and rapid response for diplomatic support operations. The NRF has intervened twice: in 2005 pursuant to Hurricane Katrina in the USA and the earthquake in the north of Pakistan (Kashmir).

September 2007
Contrast to International Terrorism

Contrast to International Terrorism was the object of several initiatives.
From 13 to 14 September, the second exercise related to EU Emergency and Crisis Co-ordination Arrangements (EU-CCA) was held in Brussels. The agreements mentioned above guarantee the coordinated support of the Council and of the European Commission to member states for a rapid and efficient answer in case of national crisis. The fictitious scenario was about a biological attack committed simultaneously in different member states.
On 19 September, the ESDP High Representative Solana appointed the Belgian de Kerckhove as the new EU Antiterrorism Coordinator. Formerly, de Kerckhove was a High Officer at the Council Secretariat for the judiciary and police coordination. To this office, open since March when the Dutch de Vries resigned, several European deputies would like to attribute more powers and resources. From 24 to 27 September, exercises involving about 250 antiterrorism special units of EU countries were held. The fictitious scenario was the liberation of hostages in a ferry in the Belgian port of Ostenda. The training, which in this case involved Belgians, Germans, Danish, Dutch, Swedish and Spanish, is part of the Atlas project by the European Commission, gathering 30 special units from several EU countries (and Norway).

Research area