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Italy’s Perception of the EU Defence Industrial “Toolbox”


Over time, the European Union (EU) could gradually become a major player in the EDTIB, the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base. In recent years, it has developed several initiatives to support defence industrial cooperation between Member States and their defence companies1. For European capitals, this represents a major paradigm shift. How do they perceive this new role that the EU, and the Commission in particular, has been assuming? What is their perception of the so-called “EU toolbox” for supporting the EDTIB? To answer these questions, the Ares Group is issuing a series of seven papers (comments) on as many European countries. This paper covers the case of Italy. It is written by Alessandro Marrone, Head of the Defence Programme of the Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome. According to Marrone, ‘‘a majority in the Italian policy community have three items in mind when they think about the EU defence financing toolbox: the availability of economic resources, the need of a grand design, and a focus on specificities and complementarity. At the same time, there is a widespread cautiousness on the growing role of the European Commission, and deep-rooted concerns about the French activism at EU level’’.