EU Defene Initiatives and Washingtons Position

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-10-29-39
S. Kislitsyn (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. The study is devoted to the military-political and military-economic relations between the United States and the European Union. At the end of 2017, the EU announced the launch of two projects: Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and European Defence Fund (EDF). These organizations aimed to develop the European armed forces and the military-industrial complex. The U. S. have criticized these initiatives, noting that they could harm transatlantic relations. The main goal of the study is to analyze the contradictions that emerged after the launch of PESCO and EDF. The research is based on the positions of the U.S. and EU officials, Russian and foreign experts, as well as on the use of statistical data. The author analyzes four main issues. Firstly, it is the features of the U.S. – EU relationship in the defene sector. It is concluded that a better model for Washington would be the growth of European spendings in the absence of institutions development. There are also some difficulties in the export control system, the unequal dependence of the United States and the EU on arms exports. Secondly, American criticism of PESCO and EDF is observed. The main admonitions come down to a serious restriction of non-European companies’ participation. The U.S. warns its allies against protectionism on the European defene market and negative consequences for cooperation in R&D. Thirdly, export control issues are studied. The system that exists between the United States and different European countries is not evenly developed. It prevents the EU from obtaining necessary technologies and impedes its exports. This situation is an incentive for the development of independent European projects in defene. Forth, a comparison of mutual arms trade and R&D expenditures is made. The United States do not have an objective need for the procurement of European arms. In turn, the EU imports 25% of its armament from the U.S. The development of PESCO and EDF may have a limited negative impact on American exports to Europe, as well as impede the U.S. participation in R&D projects. The most sensitive restrictions can be made in the field of unmanned systems. The author concludes that there are systemic contradictions in transatlantic relations that impede the development of PESCO and EDF. The United States are not dependent on EU arms imports. But maintaining existing ties has important political motives. It contributes to the possibility of Washington’s influence on the allies. However, the existing model is pushing the European Union to create separate defene projects. At the same time, the development of PESCO and EDF would force the United States to discourage such trends.

Keywords: transatlantic relations, PESCO, EDF, U.S. foreign policy, EU foreign policy


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For citation:
Kislitsyn S. EU Defene Initiatives and Washingtons Position. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, no. 10, pp. 29-39.

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