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EC Defence Policy

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 22 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the Government’s policy is on the provisions of the so-called reciprocity clause contained in the recent EU Directive on the coordination of procedures for the award of certain public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts in the fields of defence and security; and if he will make a statement. (249739)

The directive will provide member states with common procurement rules for defence and security which take account of the special features of that market. This will enable them to open up the majority of their defence procurements (apart from certain sensitive contracts) to competition. The aim is a more effective, open and transparent European defence equipment market and the innovation that will bring.

The Recital in question seeks to outline the importance of the creation of a globally competitive European Defence Industrial Base but importantly does not require member states to purchase defence equipment exclusively from within the European Community. We will continue therefore, as now, to look to the global market to meet our capability needs.