Green Paper: Defence procurement

(presented by the European Commission, 23 September 2004)

This Green Paper is one of the measures announced by the European Commission in its Communication “Towards a European Union defence equipment policy”, adopted on 11 March 20031. Through these measures, the Commission intends to contribute to the gradual creation of a European defence equipment market (EDEM) which is more transparent and open between Member States and which, whilst respecting the sector’s specific nature, would increase economic efficiency.

Moving towards a truly European market is crucial for strengthening the   competitiveness of European industry, improving the allocation of defence resources and supporting the development of the Union’s military capabilities under the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).

The establishment of the European Defence Agency with its responsibilities in the field of defence capabilities, research, acquisition and armaments, makes the development of such a market even more important.

Creating an EDEM would require a set of complementary initiatives, including the establishment of an appropriate regulatory framework for the procurement of  defence equipment. The opening up of defence markets, which are currently fragmented along national lines, would increase the commercial opportunities for European companies in the sector, including SMEs, and contribute to their growth and increase their competitiveness.

The purpose of this Green Paper is to develop the debate on these issues, bearing in mind the principle of subsidiarity. For this purpose the Commission set up two working parties consisting of representatives of the Member States and European industry to contribute to the preparatory stages of the Green Paper.

In the first part, the Green Paper identifies the reasons for specific action by giving a summary of the current state of defence procurement markets, their numerous special characteristics and the existing regulatory framework. In the second part, on the basis of this analysis, it considers possible lines of action.

[Green Paper]