A dynamic and open European Defence Market
“Multinational cooperation has an increasing role in capability development. Joint effort may generate significant capabilities unattainable by national resources.” Róbert Kádár, Deputy Head of Armament and Quartermaster Office said in his opening remarks at the conference held at Stefánia Palace Cultural Centre, Budapest on 5 April.
The conference, an event of the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, was opened by Gábor Márki, Deputy State Secretary for Defence Economy, MoD. Mr. Márki underlined in his introductory speech that the aim of the Defence Package adopted by the European Commission in 2007 is to strengthen the European Defence Industry and encourage a more European approach to business cooperation in the currently segmented national defence markets. He added: SMEs (Small and medium sized enterprises) acting in the defence sector still face significant problems. They lack information on business and clustering opportunities and experience difficulties to make primary defence companies and customers aware of their products and services.
Among the participants and keynote speakers were Dr. László Szőllősi, Deputy State Secretary for Enterprise Development and Industry, MNE, Antonio Di Blasi, Director of External Affairs, Equipment and SME Directorate, Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe and Mr.András Szilágyi, Head of Investment Policy Sector, MNE.
Katharina Vierlich, Legal Fellow of the Internal Market and Services DG, European Commission, the first keynote speaker of the conference emphasized that the aim is to develop and maintain a dynamic and open European Single Market. She added: EDEM (European Defence Market) is part of the Single Market. She also said that in order to enhance interoperability between the 27 member states you have to overcome fragmentation, foster competitiveness and strengthen military capabilities in spite of budget cuts.
Katharina Vierlich emphasized that subcontracting would open up supply chains to EU-wide competition in the defence market.
Péter Pogácsás, Senior Chief Counsellor of the Hungarian Ministry of National Economy talked about the two pillars of the new Hungarian Economic Policy: Széll Kálmán Plan and New Széchenyi Plan.
Pieter Taal, Assistant Director, Industry and Market Directorate, EDA gave a presentation on ’’Depth and Diversity of EDTIB (European Defence Technological and Industrial Base)”. Mr Taal underlined that the future success of the EDTIB in Europe would depend upon effective utilization of potential and innovation.
Lars Ajaxson, Senior Advisor of the Swedish Security and Defence Industry Association talked about the past and present of the Swedish Defence Industry. In conclusion it was said that information is a key factor in competitive markets, particularly so for SMEs. Due to the specificities of the defence sector, accessibility of information is often difficult, whereas at the same time crucial for the industry. To function effectively in defence business, SMEs need to be able to understand the interaction between MODs’ procurement priorities and the latest developments in a range of technologies, and to understand the capability requirements of potential customers.
The conference has been organized by the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of National Economy.