Europe risks giving up on defence

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Series Details 15.10.12
Publication Date 15/10/2012
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Analysis feature. The writer says that the collapse of BAE-EADS merger deal in October 2012 raises questions over the role of Europe in defence and security issues.

In June 2011, Robert Gates, the then US defence secretary, made a speech in Brussels on Europe’s military capabilities. He warned Nato’s European members that they faced 'the very real possibility of collective military irrelevance' if they failed to maintain national spending on defence. Mr Gates argued that it would 'take leadership from political leaders and policy makers on this continent' to ensure Europe remained a strong military actor.

The collapse of the potential tie-up between EADS, the Franco-German aerospace giant, and BAE Systems, Britain’s biggest defence company, has added to the gloom – suggesting that European leaders do not want to reverse the continent’s decline as a global security player.

Related Links
ESO: Background information: German indifference helps sink EADS, BAE deal
ESO: Background information: Gates warns Nato alliance at risk
New York Times, 22.04.13: Shrinking Europe Military Spending Stirs Concern

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