Summer/Fall 2007

New Developments in Procurement Policies in Europe

Bernard RétatToday, defense equipment procurement in Europe is basically performed nationally. Each country independently determines its equipment requirements and then develops and deploys that equipment via its own national procedures. There are a few programs conducted in multilateral cooperation, but they are not the rule and do not involve all the European countries; in practice, even these programs actually turn out different national versions of so-called same equipment. Their effectiveness can therefore be debated.

This go-it-alone approach of course contradicts the rules of the single market that have been put in place for the procurement of civilian public goods and services and the spirit of what we call the “first pillar” of the European Union. But as far as defense is concerned, each European nation still enjoys full sovereignty thanks to Article 296 of the Treaty of Rome, stipulating, primo, “that no member state is obliged to supply information, the disclosure of which it considers contrary to the essential interests of its security” and, secundo, “that any member state may take such measure as it considers necessary for the protection of the essential interests of its security, including its linkage to the production of or trade in arms, munitions and war material.”


“Fortress Europe” Overtones Heard

This piece is excerpted from comments by a non-EU participant (who could not be further identified) at a meeting of The European Institute Defense Roundtable.

If NATO is not the place to go for armaments cooperation, we should look towards the European Defense Agency (EDA) and the European Commission, especially on homeland security issues. I think this is an area which absolutely should be pursued. Of course, EDA’s first foray did not succeed: it was the effort with armored fighting vehicles. There was a study that found 23 different national armored fighting-vehicle programs in Europe. That is crazy. NATO is affected by this because allies are deploying to Afghanistan with different kinds of equipment and without common logistics, common supplies, and common ways to do maintenance. In Provincial Reconstruction Teams, with five or six different countries manning them, everybody’s got different gear there, so I hope that the EDA re-attacks on this issue of armored fighting vehicles, and also with similar types of situations. There is no reason why we should have this many different programs. And I think it is entirely within the prerogatives of the EDA and its board of defense ministers to tackle this. This is money wasted.


Eurozone: A New Global Context Favors Long-Term Growth

Yves MerschThe economic prospects of Europe and other parts of the world have traditionally hinged on the U.S. economy. Now most economists concur with the view that the U.S. economy is sneezing. Yet this time the rest of the world is not expected to catch a cold. Why not? Why is there so much confidence that the euro area can successfully decouple its economic trajectory from the current U.S. slowdown? Let me lay out some thoughts in this regard in the context provided by recent macroeconomic developments – at the global level, in the U.S. and in Europe.

Let me start with the global macroeconomic environment. The dynamism of the world economy since its rebound in mid-2003 has been exceptional both in the pace of growth and its duration. Cyclical factors, underpinned by favorable financing conditions, have supported this expansion. But, equally so, it is likely that there is also a structural trend favoring a rising path for world growth.


U.S Industry Also Chafes at Export Restrictions

This is an excerpt of an article by William Matthews in the U.S. publication, Defense News, on May 23, 2007.

Here’s something you might not have expected to find on the U.S. munitions list: toilets. But along with missile-guidance systems, night vision goggles, torpedoes, tanks, radars and nuclear warheads, the State Department requires a special license to export toilets if they are to be installed in military aircraft.


Global highlights and local sidelights culled from the media (April - June 2007)

AMSTERDAM: Dutch Reality TV on Kidney Shortage a Hoax

Three contestants were competing for a dying woman’s kidney. The Dutch TV reality-show, which received widespread criticism, was revealed as a hoax. Lisa, the 37-year-old “donor” – who was in fact an actress – was to choose her kidney’s recipient based on the contestants’ history, and conversation with their family and friends.

  • 5G and the World Radio Conference 

    By Patricia Paoletta, Washington DC

    You may have heard that the United States is in “a Race to 5G.” 5G—or the Fifth Generation of wireless broadband—will be 100x faster than 4G, connect up to 100x more devices, and be 5x more responsive through lower latency. 5G is expected to connect people, things, transport systems, and cities in smart-networked, always-on environments. 5G will transport a huge amount of content much faster, reliably connect millions of devices, and process very high volumes of data with minimal delay.

    Read more ...

UMD Jean Monnet Research Project

The University of Maryland has received a Jean Monnet grant from the EU to conduct a series of policy exchanges between Europe and the US on filling infrastructure needs and the utility of public/private partnerships as the financing mechanism. If interested in participating in or receiving more information about these exchanges, please contact Rye McKenzie (

New from the Bertelsmann Foundation

The Bertelsmann Foundation is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC with a transatlantic perspective on global challenges.

"The Troubles with Brexit", by Anthony T. Silberfeld

"Shared Values No More?", by Emily Hruban

"Trick or Treat", by Anthony T. Silberfeld



Summer Course

Get updates from EI@UMD