Tuesday

14th Aug 2018

France and Germany to coordinate defence spending cuts

France and Germany are intending to co-ordinate defence spending cuts in a bid to ensure that joint programmes are not endangered by unilateral moves to rein in monies spent on military issues.

According to a report in German daily Handelsblatt, German defence minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and his French counterpart Herve Morin on Wednesday (21 July) agreed in Paris to set up a working group to look into the matter, with a first meeting set for beginning of September.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • The economic crisis has forced governments into a rethink about their defence budgets (Photo: EUobserver)

One of the themes of the group will be to see where savings can be made as well on major projects such as the building of the troubled A400m military transporter - already four years late and billions of euros over budget.

"We want to avoid that Germany or France take unilateral decisions that endanger common projects," said Mr Morin.

Once considered a political taboo, a move to coordinate the streamlining of defence budgets among some member states is now something of a necessity as all governments tighten their belts in the face of the economic crisis.

Both ministers also said they were convinced that a pan-European arms industry would develop. At the moment, there is a little co-ordination among member states, with governments spending differing amounts of GDP on defence and often investing in overlapping or similar programmes.

EU-UN co-operation

Meanwhile, the Irish Times has reported that Dublin is pushing for deeper EU military co-operation with the UN.

In an informal paper presented to other member states, Ireland says the EU should look to how it can extend its support for the UN.

The paper suggests going beyond separate EU-led and UN-led missions "to the concept of EU force components forming an integral component of a UN 'blue helmet' operation."

Opinion

What Salvini teaches us about Operation Sophia

It seems as if the EU and some member states are trying to 'sell' European external action in Italy, Austria, Poland and Hungary as a key to solving internal issues – and thus pulling these missions into today's populist debates.

UK poll suggests Brits would now vote Remain

Most UK voters in a YouGov survey said they would remain part of the European Union should a second referendum be held now. The poll follows reports the EU is willing to make a concession on British exit demands.

News in Brief

  1. Malta to allow Aquarius migrants to disembark
  2. Juncker sends condolences over Genoa bridge collapse
  3. EU pledges €500,000 more for Indonesian earthquake island
  4. EU commission in talks with states on new Aquarius migrants
  5. Man held after car crashes into UK parliament security barrier
  6. Brexit delays better readability of medicines' instructions
  7. Masked youths set dozens of cars alight in Sweden
  8. Spain and Italy refuse new Aquarius-rescued migrants

UK poll suggests Brits would now vote Remain

Most UK voters in a YouGov survey said they would remain part of the European Union should a second referendum be held now. The poll follows reports the EU is willing to make a concession on British exit demands.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  2. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  3. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  4. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  5. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  6. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  8. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  10. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  12. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma

Latest News

  1. EU commission steps up legal case against Poland
  2. Separation of powers instead of 'Spitzenkandidat' process
  3. Revealed: ExxonMobil's private dinner with Cyprus' top EU brass
  4. What Salvini teaches us about Operation Sophia
  5. 14 lobbyist meetings with Oettinger and Canete went unminuted
  6. UK poll suggests Brits would now vote Remain
  7. Some EU states face delays in 5G preparation
  8. Nordic and Baltic farmers urgently need EU support

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us