ASD Secretary General Jan Pie today gave a speech on the European Defence Market at a conference on the 10th anniversary of the Defence and Security Procurement Directive (2009/81). The event was organized by the European Commission and brought together representatives from Member States, Commission services, academics and the European Defene Agency.
After the opening statement by Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, a panel discussion addressed the achievements, challenges and prospects of the Defence Procurement Directive.
In his intervention ASD Secretary General Jan Pie stressed that the internal market for defence is still rather an objective than a reality: “There is too little defence spending in general, and too little spending on the future in particular. There is too much fragmentation at all levels, and too little cooperation.” However, he also expressed his hopes that recent European initiatives, namely the European Defence Fund (EDF), the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), would improve the situation by fostering cooperation and promoting investments in key technology and capability areas.
Mr. Pie underlined that exports to third countries have become an economic necessity for European defence industry to compensate for shrinking home markets in Europe and for the tendency of many Member States to buy American. “There is a lot of competition in European defence markets today”, he said, “but sometimes competition does not follow the rules of the procurement directive.”
Talking about the challenges to further openness, transparency and competition, Mr Pie argued that procurement rules alone would not solve the problem: “What we need is a more coherent procurement and industrial policy. The Directive is one important building block of the European Defence Market (…) but it cannot change everything alone. PESCO and CARD, and EDF are further important milestones. At the end, all these elements will have to play together and hopefully lead to an efficient defence sector in Europe” concluded Mr Pie.