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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Monday, January 24, 2005

May the Best Guns Win

The approach of the state to buying weapons has always been slightly dodgy. Products designed by committees, huge project overspends and useless equipment that someone else already makes better are part and parcel of this business. Now the EU wants to change some of that.
The new arms chief of the European Union has issued a blunt warning that the days of governments favouring domestic companies when buying tanks or other major military hardware are over.
Apart from the fact I did not even know the EU had an arms chief, I have to say I agree with the challenge to the idea of national champions. However, the motivation seems to be less free market and more a case of preparation for the EU army.
There must be more "collective" decision-making over what goes into Europe's armouries now that military units under EU command are a reality on the ground.
Had there been more resistance to the creation of national champions and more cross border mergers, then each government making purchase decisions would at least have had a choice of ‘semi-domestic’ companies as suppliers. As it is more and more choices come down to the national champion versus the rest of the world. Politics dictates that the national champion will win.

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