Addressing national fragmentation of common defence efforts, the European Union countries have pledged to cooperate more closely in procurement of military equipment and in research.
The defence ministers in Brussels approved a document also committing governments to tackling national state aid and other obstacles to fair market access, reducing red tape for cross-border transfers and promoting small and medium-sized defence suppliers.
On a different front concerning the EU’s ambition to become a global security player, grave questions were posed about the legitimacy of method being applied for operations in Afghanistan, one of several theatres of war in which European forces are involved.
Germany and Spain both deplored the number of Afghan civilians being killed in anti-Taliban operations under American command. Madrid called this intolerable.