Towards an EU Defence Equipment Policy (Extracted from: Provisional Minutes of the 13 May Competitiveness Council)

May 15, 2003

Brussels, 14 May 2003

Following an introduction by Commissioners Liikanen and Busquin of the Commission's Communication "European Defence - Industrial And Market Issues: Towards An EU Defence Equipment Policy", the Council stressed the importance that an EU Defence Equipment Policy would have in relation to areas covered by the Competitiveness Council, in particular Industry, Innovation and R&D. To this end the Council adopted the conclusions as set out below:

"THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

WELCOMES the communication of the Commission "Towards an EU Defence Equipment Policy" as a valuable contribution towards creating the necessary conditions for strengthening the industrial and market situation of European businesses, which are directly or indirectly connected with the defence equipment market, enhancing defence related research and improving international competitiveness of the industries concerned;

RECALLS that the Brussels European Council of 20-21 March 2003 recognised the role that defence and security-related R&D could play in promoting leading-edge technologies and thereby stimulating innovation and competitiveness;

RECOGNISES in particular the importance of putting in place arrangements, which could lead to greater cost-effectiveness, improved harmonisation of standards, and more efficient planning and procurement of defence equipment and RTD, based on technological innovation;

NOTES the Commission's intention to further develop the initiatives identified in pursuit of these objectives and will examine the specific issues raised in the communication in the appropriate bodies of the Council; WELCOMES the Commission's identification of themes for further reflection and stresses the importance that this analysis takes into consideration the contribution that entrepreneurial researchers, start-ups or SMEs can make to the attainment of the Lisbon goals;

WELCOMES the intention of the Commission to present by the end of 2003 a further communication developing more fully its planned preparatory action on security-related research, with reference also to the longer-term perspective;

INVITES the Commission to report on progress made towards the achievement of the objectives set out above by the end of 2003."

http://ue.eu.int/newsroom/LoadDoc.asp?DI D=75728&LANG=1

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