Military Capabilities

Creeping third-party accommodation in EU defence projects may be on the horizon

11 December 2019

There is cautious optimism that non-EU countries might satisfactorily participate in projects financed by the EU's forthcoming European Defence Fund (EDF) as well as future consortia within Europe's Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in defence, say EU defence policy officials, although Washington is awaiting concrete proof that will be the case.

"The text for third-party participation is admittedly complicated but it offers some flexibility. The main message, however, is not one of Fortress Europe," said an EU defence policy official, referring to the draft rules for third-party participation currently under negotiation among EU countries.

Speaking to a closed gathering of industry and policy officials organised in Brussels by the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union (AmCham EU) on 9 December, the EU official said, "We are willing to accept consortia where third countries are involved and we will study these to see whether they work or not.

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