Session Summary: European Defence Cooperation: Defining the Resilient Europe

Marian Majer, State Secretary, Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic 

Jan Havránek, Deputy Minister for Defence Policy and Strategy, Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic 

Frank Haun, Chief Executive Officer, KNDS Amsterdam

Jan-Olof Lind, State Secretary, Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Sweden

Led by: Marcin Zaborowski, Policy Director for Future of Security Programme, GLOBSEC Policy Institute, Warsaw

 

The establishment of new European defence initiatives is creating many opportunities for the countries in the region, but also potential risks that must be adequately addressed in order to find a comprehensive conference between their activities and NATO. Though the initiatives are broadly welcomed, it is important that they are able to face the challenges imposed by the rapidly changing security environment.

The panellists have agreed that the challenges that European defence initiatives will be facing are similar to those imposed on NATO. Firstly, it is the reaction and implementation of emerging and disruptive technologies that are significantly shaping the security environment. Secondly, the cooperation between the public and private sector in the question of research and development must be established to harness the available resources and accelerate innovation. Thirdly, the military gaps between the larger and smaller states should be addressed and reduced in order to improve interoperability.

Jan Havránek, the Deputy Minister for Defence Policy and Strategy at the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic, believes that PECSCO will not be making transatlantic cooperation more difficult, nor duplicate its activities. However, complementarity and transparency must be communicated at all times. In this context, the European defence cooperation may serve as an important building block for transatlantic security cooperation. Moreover, it can be an important counterpart in overcoming the imposed challenges and helping European states to maintain ethical and technological superiority against peer competitors.

On the other hand, Fran Haun, the chief executive officer of KNDS, is convinced that overcoming these challenges on the European level may be difficult. The biggest issue in his opinion is the lack of the framework that is slowing down the whole process, as well as the absence of a joint defence market in Europe. This supports the need for cooperative dialogue between the private and public sector that is inherent in harnessing all the available resources and improving the activities of the European defence initiatives.