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Towards a more competitive defence and security sector

President Barroso, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship Tajani, Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Barnier

President Barroso on Wednesday presented the Communication "Towards a competitive and efficient European defence and security sector", together with Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship Tajani and Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Barnier. The communication contains an Action Plan to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of Europe's defence and security sector.

The communication outlines how the Commission, within its competences, can enhance our common security and defence policy and reinforce Europe's industrial base in defence sector.

"We need a more cohesive security and defence policy mainly for three reasons," President Barroso said at the press conference. "Firstly, because this is essential to reinforce our foreign policy and the European Union's role in the world … Secondly, because in times of economic constraints we need to make a better use of public money … Thirdly: the defence and security sector is a major industrial cluster in Europe directly employing 400,000 people and indirectly generating another 960,000 jobs in Europe, with a turnover of €96 billion in 2012 alone and €23 billion of exports in 2011."

"To be more efficient, cooperation between Member States and between security and defence is critical!", the President added.

President Barroso underlined the importance of cooperation and the Commission's role by saying "It's time to do more together on Defence! This is what I want to see happen – and I hope that this Communication can be a decisive contribution to this process".

The Commission now invites the Heads of State and Government to discuss this communication at the European Council in December 2013, together with a report prepared by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Questions and answers on the communication

Presentation by Antonio Tajani

Video: press conference

Presentation by Michel Barnier (in French)