brussels - A plan of the European Commission for a joint defense fund is still poor in some Member States. Hennis Secretary (Defence) plainly speaks of 'a shot across the bow.'
The VVD state secretary was in Brussels yesterday for the signing of a letter of intent with the Belgians on the joint purchase of frigates and minesweepers. The Dutch and Belgian navies have worked very closely together and deepen this cooperation so further in the coming years.
The Commission meanwhile strews with billions (over time) to streamline the European research on weapons. Now this would be far too fragmented and thus inefficient.
But Hennis states that Member States were not asked. 'You would almost think that there is enhanced with us talked about, but that is not so,' she said. She talked about 'fog'. 'And that is true not only for me but for all my European colleagues. 'Her Belgian counterpart Steven Vandeput could confirm that.
Initially, the fund must be provided for joint research. But eventually also for the joint purchase of weapons. If countries do less on their own that would, in the Commission care annually between 25 and 100 billion euros.
The committee wants to continue the annual research budget, for example radar technology, electronics, robotics or encryption to 2020 will amount to 90 million per year.\n \n \n advertisement
Thereafter, Brussels think of half a billion euros annually. Defense research is still excluded from European science programs.
The European defense efforts (or lack thereof) are after the election of Donald Trump as president in the US even more come under the magnifying glass.
In four countries after satisfying any European country to NATO-standard to spend 2 percent of its GDP on defense. Meanwhile, the European Commission is looking for ways to be less dependent on the Americans to monitor their own safety. Abroad Chef Federica Mogherini had recently even the EU as a 'superpower'.
Clingendael expert Rob de Wijk shaking his head to see. 'Ultimately keep the 28 Member States who go on mobilizing their armies,' he says. 'You can not compare even remotely with the US Do you want it different then you should give up national sovereignty, but that's not going to happen. It remains muddling. '
What does the Commission exactly also remains a mystery to him. He predicts a battle between the defense industry contracts. 'From companies that corner I hear sounds that this is going to be nothing. '