While defence budgets across the European Union are being cut, defence spending in China, India, Brazil, Russia and other countries is rising. If Europe wants to maintain a sound security and defence industry, Member States need to coordinate their defence budgets, avoid overlaps and reinforce joint research programmes. This is the message which the EESC stressed in the opinion it adopted yesterday on the European defence industry.
"While certain third countries raise their defence expenditure, we cannot continue wasting time with separate research programmes or defence strategies. The EU goal should be clear: a common defence policy, a common research programme and a shared defence production." stressed rapporteur Joost van Iersel (Employers' Group, Netherlands).