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Czechs sign reciprocal procurement agreement with Americans

(credit: Czech Ministry of Defence)

(BRUSSELS2) Clearly, if there is one tool that worked well on Wednesday (April 18), at NATO, it was the pen... Alexandr Vondra, and Leon Panetta, Czech and American Defense Ministers, signed a intergovernmental agreement on the mutual acquisition of materials and services for defense purposes. This agreement allows Czech companies to be treated on the same footing as other companies, according to the Czech side. “ The agreement is of vital importance for Czech defense industry companies. This opens the way for us to obtain US government defense contracts. We have thus joined 21 of the United States' closest allies (*) who had already signed such an agreement “, explained Alexandr Vondra, the Czech ministry. “This agreement is obviously reciprocal. US companies will be able to access Czech defense markets. Increased competition in competitions would then have a favorable impact on prices,” He explains.

The final form of this agreement known as RDP – MOU (Reciprocal Defense Procurement Memoranda of Understanding) was agreed between the two ministers in Washington last January. The approval procedures in both countries were carried out very quickly; which allows the agreement to enter into force immediately, it is specified in Prague.

NB: this type of agreement has already been signed with several European countries (*) and does not give rise to any concerns or problems from the European Commission regarding their compliance with Community law. This is a commitment which has a “non-obligatory” scope, an expert on the matter told me. But it is certainly at the economic level that the effect can be felt more intensely. Producing on a large scale, also benefiting from large stocks of materials due to the reduction in acquisitions across the Atlantic, US companies will be able to “cut” prices on the Czech market and thus win the markets… According to our information, around fifteen EU/EEA countries already have this type of MOU: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom. Let us add to this other countries: Canada, Egypt, Israel, Türkiye. For France, the agreement was signed in May 1989 by Jean-Pierre Chevènement at the time.

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).