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Luminiţa Apostol

18 Mai 2019
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European Union has rejected United States' demands for external participation in European defense initiatives.

European defense industry - "much more open than the American one"



European Union has rejected United States' demands for external participation in European defense initiatives, Brussels arguing that the European defense industry is much more open than the American one.

Europeans give assurances that the EU remains fully engaged in cooperation with the United States as a key partner in security and defense matters.

"Permanent Structured Cooperation and European Defense Fund strengthen Europe's contribution to transatlantic joint security" - say European officials in the letter of reply to Washington, and stress that the two projects are designed to support capabilities that are compatible, complementary and interoperable with NATO, thus rejecting US criticism. Letter also states that setting limits to the participation of third countries in these European initiatives is intended to protect indisputable security interests, noting that these measures are similar to those imposed by Washington to European companies wishing to participate in US defense projects.

"European market will remain significantly more open than the US one", say European officials, reminding that US arms exports to the European Union were of nearly $63 billion between 2014 and 2016, while European arms exports to the United States totaled only 7.6 billion dollars over the same period. In addition, Europeans claim that the EU imposes objective criteria, while Washington has a discretionary system, the effect of which has been the very limited participation of European companies in US military projects.

In a letter sent to Brussels on May 1, the United States underlines that the European Union does not respect its commitment to ensure involvement of all NATO Member States in its defense initiatives, so Brussels is warned that Washington could take reciprocal measures. However, as EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini said, the European Union is and will remain open to US companies and equipment.

Source:RRA.Translated by Miruna Matei


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