I am willing to buy US. Quiet !

(BRUSSELS2) The European Commission yesterday approved a report entitled “a new deal for European defence”. Objective, in the words of the Commission itself: “ strengthening the single defense market, promoting a defense industry more competitive and more generally promote the common security and defense policy. Surprisingly, no word of the deal in the works – so-called ACSA deal – with the US to supply certain materials or equipment (which B2 readers are already familiar with. Read: A military agreement with Uncle Sam).

Questioned by me during the midday briefing, the Commission spokesperson confirmed that this subject was neither discussed nor raised during the meeting of European Commissioners. And to know more, needless to insist. The only detailed answer is: We will answer you bilaterally ". Basically, we will answer you but over a coffee, just to avoid making a public response.

Do everything, but say nothing

The subject is indeed a delicate one. The European executive – more precisely the Vice-President of the Commission in charge of external relations – has carefully kept out not only the European Parliament but also the Member States (at least at ministerial level, and even ambassadors). This subject being negotiated only in “technical” forums, far from the curious.

A completely incomprehensible position of discretion. We are not here in defense secrecy, but in a supply agreement. The equivalent for the military, in a way, of the free trade agreement at the civil level TTIP (even if the objectives and means are not comparable). This type of agreement deserves, at the very least, a minimum of information.

Washington communicates, Brussels goes into hiding

Position all the more incomprehensible that the Americans do not hide from this agreement. The Pentagon thus made public in a few words, during the last EU-US summit, the launch of the negotiations.

“The United States and EU have launched negotiations on an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement to provide a mechanism that could facilitate cooperation on logistical support. »

Comment: Europe has nothing to gain by adopting the ostrich position – see nothing, say nothing, know nothing. This agreement can be beneficial to peacekeeping operations or other European actions. It is still necessary that this subject be known and debated in the forums provided for it (Council of Ministers and/or European Parliament. This is the price of democracy.

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).