Czechs sign reciprocal procurement agreement with Americans

(credit: Czech Ministry of Defence)

(BRUSSELS2) Decidedly, if there is one tool that worked well on Wednesday (18 April), at NATO, it is the pen... Alexandr Vondra and Leon Panetta, Czech and American Defense Ministers have thus 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 paves the way for us to obtain US government defense contracts. We thus joined 21 of the closest allies of the United States (*) 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, says one in Prague.

NB: this type of agreement has already been signed with several European countries (*) and does not give rise to concerns or problems on the part of the European Commission as to their compliance with Community law. This is a commitment that has a “non-binding” scope, an expert on the file 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 equipment 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, about 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. Add to that other countries: Canada, Egypt, Israel, Turkey. 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).