Brussels, 10 Sep 2003
Commissioner for Research, Philippe Busquin, called for 'a better synergy between civil research and military research' in a speech to the Kangaroo Group in Brussels on 9 September.
Mr Busquin described the distinction between the two as 'increasingly artificial and expensive' and said that those who threatened the EU's security would take no account of such distinctions.
'We pay a high price in Europe for the artificial separation of civil and military research,' said the Commissioner. 'The example of the United States shows us that synergy between the two can be very profitable. A European defence research policy is thus necessary to bring the two sectors closer together.'
The increased threat of terrorism requires greater cooperation between governments, said Mr Busquin. 'A strong and credible European security and defence policy will not easily be realised without the support of a competitive defence industry and a healthy climate for investment in research and development,' he added.
But he warned that intergovernmental cooperation in research had its drawbacks as well as its advantages: 'On the one hand, it can help to mobilise the participation of all Member States. But, on the other hand, if the intergovernmental principle leads to a policy of geographical return for each euro spent by each Member State, the European added value will be minimal.'