Monday, January 12, 2004
The Quadrille

Commissioner Erkki Likkonen, produced a public document, based upon his meeting of the 17th December 2003, outlining the greater co-ordination of research in defence and security. Although the budget for this venture is limited at €15,000,000, it marks another integral step towards a single Defence and Security Identity for Europe, the concomitant of the Common and Foreign Security Policy. The two other objectives that the Commission hopes to achieve in this sphere is a single market for defence procurement and the establishment of a Defence Agency to coordinate and control the military single market. The creeping control of the Commission is called a Preparatory Action.

If the European Union were to regulate and control defence procurement, this would strike a severe blow at one of the remaining strengths of the British industrial base. Such manufacturing and research would probably be redistributed across the EU as the gift of pork that politicians could dole out to their Member States. This could prove a politicised "hollowing out" of our defence industry and would spell the death knell of our co-operation with the United States.

This is another example where Britain's ability to square the circle between Europe and America has reached the end of the road.

(23.04, 12th January 2004)


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