Profusions of ‘warm and close’ co-ordination of their respective capability development agendas by NATO and the European Union’s (EU's) top brass belie the growing concern within European government and industry circles about the current tense state of transatlantic defence relations.
The tension is at its highest in years as evidenced by the thinly veiled threats of defence market exclusion in a letter sent from Washington to the EU on 1 May demanding that Brussels relax its rules on third-party participation in future PESCO and EU-funded defence research and capability projects. The letter said the rules risk leading to duplicative and non-interoperable equipment between the EU and NATO.
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