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Alexander Weis' Final Tip: A Little Competition Wouldn't Hurt

(BRUSSELS2) (In Ghent) For Alexander Weis, the director of the European Defense Agency, this is his last Council of Defense Ministers in Ghent, on 23 and 25 September. Appointed in October 2007, he must indeed leave in the next few days; September 30, to be exact. And we expect the appointment of his successor soon (1). In two minutes, I asked her to summarize what her advice for her successor might be. " We have no alternative in Europe but to cooperate, and better cooperate “he assures. Corn " we need to open up our markets a little, to introduce a little competition. Take a look: 80% of the markets awarded today are awarded without competition. But we need it. I know well – he adds – that the defense industry has its specificities, that it does not work like another market, like the automobile industry, for example. But still ". And he explains: “Currently, faced with the crisis, we have three choices: obtain better value for money from our investments, save money or give subsidies to the industry. We can't do both. Member States must therefore choose: either save public funds or subsidize their industry. This is why I deeply believe that a little openness would not do any harm.”. As to whether Europe could put in place a “Foreign Military Sales“, he smiles (Ghent is definitely the evening of smiles, see Conversation with Herman Van R.) but does not respond. Or rather his smile is eloquent. It means: you are dreaming, dear friend, impossible, Europeans are too divided...

(1) It is the High Representative who makes the proposal for the future director of the Agency. And it is up to the Board of Directors, made up of Defense Ministers, to choose it (26 member states are on the board of directors). Three candidates are currently in the running, according to my information, of nationality: French (normally the favorite but that's a lot of French people nominated by Cathy Ashton), Finnish or Italian.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).