European defense industry cooperation must be enhanced -France’s Macron


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PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday cooperation in the European Union’s defense industry needed to be enhanced, including by the introduction of measures to favor EU companies on strategic issues.

In a speech to a defense industry event in Paris, Macron stressed the changed geopolitical situation caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, reiterating his call for boosting European autonomy when it comes to its defense capacities.

“We need to…have a stronger industrial and technological base for European defense, one that is much stronger and much more ambitious. And I will be intractable on this subject,” Macron told the gathering.

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“The time has come to put in place…a European preference, to build, when necessary and possible, rational mechanisms for the acquisition of common capabilities.”

Public tender rules among EU states for defense industry contracts, he said, should also be simplified to allow more transnational cooperation.

Addressing defense industry bosses, Macron also pledged to step up domestic military investment, saying he had asked his army ministry and joint chief of staff to reassess a military spending bill.

“We have entered a war economy in which I believe we will have to organize ourselves in the long term,” Macron said, referring to the Ukraine conflict.

The daily Le Monde reported on Monday that the French government was considering changes to legislation to allow the state to requisition the capacities of businesses in the civilian sector for its military procurement, something normally permitted only during a state of war.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Angus MacSwan and Mark Heinrich)


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