Commission policy in the field of defence procurement aims at opening EU countries' defence markets to EU-wide competition.
The policy instruments to achieve these objectives are:
Directive 2009/81/EC on defence and sensitive security procurement
This Directive sets EU rules for the procurement of arms, munitions and war material (plus related works and services) for defence purposes, but also for the procurement of sensitive supplies, works and services for security purposes. It is tailored to the specificities of defence and security equipment and markets.
Interpretative Communication on the application of Article 296 of the Treaty (now Article 346 TFEU) in the field of defence procurement
This offers guidance on the extent to which EU countries can exempt defence contracts from the Directive, if necessary for their essential security interests. It enhances legal certainty and limits possible abuse of the exemption.
Task Force on Defence Industries and Markets
Following the High Level Conference on Defence and Security Industries and Markets of 23 May 2011 Vice-President Tajani DG Enterprise and Industry and Commissioner Barnier DG Internal Market and Services jointly established a Commission Task Force on Defence Industry and Markets. The membership of the Task Force consists of interested Commission services. The European Defence Agency and the European External Action Service are also fully associated to its work. An article describing the background to this work can be found here (document 1 ).
The aim of the Task Force is to explore different policy options available to the Commission to accomplish the European defence equipment market and further enhance the strength and competitiveness of the defence industry. It has begun its work by identifying three main priority areas: industrial policy, research & innovation and the internal market. The Task Force is now engaged in a process of consulting the main stakeholders in industry and the trade unions on what actions they believe the Commission can take in addition to the existing policies of the Commission. An informal Hearing with stakeholders was held on 6 June 2012 with the debate centred on a discussion paper (document 2 ) prepared by the Commission services. This will be followed by discussions with Member States.