Meeting of the French-German Defense and Security Council: conclusions (excerpt)
(Source: French President’s Office; issued July 14, 2017)
(Issued in French and German; unofficial translation by

(Below is an excerpt relating to defense aspects from the joint communiqué issued after the July 13 meeting of the French-German Defense Council. See link to entire document at bottom)

PARIS --- At the meeting of the Franco-German Defense and Security Council, the President of the [French] Republic and the Federal Chancellor, as well as the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Defense, Interior and Development, discussed the possibilities of providing more security for the French, German and European populations.

France and Germany are working towards an improved and enhanced cooperation on security and defense in Europe.

We have agreed on common commitments that will allow us to propose to our partners an agreement on a new, ambitious and inclusive policy framework ("Permanent Structured Cooperation"). In addition, France and Germany have defined the common prerequisites for the success of the European Defense Fund.

I. Strengthening European Defense

- Permanent Structured Cooperation

France and Germany are determined to promote a truly common European foreign and security policy, and to make the European Union an effective player on the world stage, particularly in the field of security and defense.

The common security and defense policy is an integral part of the common foreign and security policy: it provides the European Union with operational capabilities by mobilizing civilian and military assets. Strengthening of the security and defense policy will require Member States to make efforts in terms of capabilities, both civil or military.

In the area of common security and defense, France and Germany consider the launch of an inclusive and ambitious Permanent Structured Cooperation (CSP) to be extremely important, and an essential step in the strengthening of the coherence, continuity, coordination and collaboration between European Nations. This cooperation will bring together all the Member States that so wish, and that have made more binding commitments in order to carry out the most demanding tasks.

With the Permanent Structured Cooperation, the Treaty of Lisbon sets up a political framework enabling EU Member States to improve their solidarity and cooperation, as well as their military capabilities and their respective defense capacities, through initiatives and concrete projects. This will contribute to achieving the level of ambition of the European Union and the ability of Europeans and the Union to contribute to security and stability. In the long term, Permanent Structured Cooperation could lead to the building of a coherent and broad spectrum of capabilities, complementing NATO - which will continue to be the cornerstone of the collective defense of its members.

In order to foster debate among all interested EU members, France and Germany agreed on a list of binding commitments and elements for an inclusive and ambitious Permanent Structured Cooperation, including a timetable and specific evaluation mechanisms. These proposals could form the basis of a wider European agreement which would guarantee a high level of ambition for future Permanent Structured Cooperation and could constitute the core of the binding commitments leading without delay to the notification process.

In order to operationalize the Permanent Structured Cooperation, France and Germany also agreed that it was necessary to identify concrete projects and called on all EU Member States to complete this process.

- European Defense Fund

France and Germany support the European Defense Fund, which is an important pillar of the integration of the European defense sector. They also warmly welcome the proposal to regulate the European Defense Industry Development Program (EDIPD): this is an important step in facilitating cross-border cooperation on defense, reinforcing synergies as well as Europe’s defense capabilities and strategic autonomy. In this spirit, the European Defense Fund should be involved in the annual coordinated defense review (CARD) and Permanent Structured Cooperation.

Structured cooperation will advance only through concrete multinational projects. France and Germany have identified initial examples of such projects to promote from the outset through the European Defense Fund and the European Defense Industrial Development Program. More projects will be identified in the coming weeks.

France and Germany will work closely together to provide more common content, through the Council, to the Commission's proposal to regulate the European Defense Industrial Development Program.

II. Jointly Strengthen Military Capabilities

- New generation land systems:
France and Germany and will continue to collaborate on a major land combat system and on a new-generation system for indirect fires, which will be opened to other European countries once these projects are sufficiently advanced. After the successful completion of the bilateral study phase, a road map will be established by mid-2018 for the next stage.

A high-level working group will be created to define a common vision of our industrial ambition in land armament systems.

- Maritime Patrol Systems:
France and Germany agree to seek a European solution to replace their respective current capabilities. A common roadmap will be developed in 2018.

- Eurodrone:
France and Germany stressed the importance of the principle of their continued joint participation in the Eurodrone program, alongside Spain and Italy. Germany and France have agreed to continue the ongoing study, based on a twin-engine design, in order to fulfill the essential missions and to meet the internal legal requirements of Germany. Particular attention will be paid to the combination of operational performance (including deployability and maintainability) at an affordable cost throughout the life cycle of the system.

The Eurodrone mission chain will largely reflect European sovereignty; it will be equipped with all necessary military capabilities. Germany will lead this program, in compliance with these parameters. The aim is to reach a global contract by 2019.

- Combat aircraft:
France and Germany agree to develop a European air combat system, under the leadership of both countries, to replace their current fleets of combat aircraft over the long term. Both partners want to develop a joint road map by mid-2018.

- Helicopters:
France and Germany agree to set up a cooperative framework for the next development standard of the Tiger helicopter, as well as for a joint program for air-to-ground tactical missiles.

-- Space:
France and Germany agree to provide satellite imagery (SARah / CSO) to the European External Action Service, possibly in partnership with other member States. They also agree to cooperate on military space surveillance capabilities in order to share a coordinated spatial situation. They insist on the high level of security required for the Galileo program, in order to guarantee the strategic autonomy of Europe (especially for military applications) and the international credibility of Galileo.

- Digital Cooperation:
France and Germany agree to launch a structured cooperation between their cyber commands, to include exchanges of cyber officers. They will also share analyzes, in particular concerning the cybersecurity systems to be integrated into the weapon systems jointly developed by the two countries, and will accelerate the joint development of algorithms for Software Defined Networks (SDN). Germany will join the ESSOR initiative of the Joint Organization for Armaments Cooperation (OCCAr) to develop an interoperable software-defined radio.

- Innovation
France and Germany will promote closer cooperation in defense research and technology. In particular, they will work on common priorities to be financed under the new European Preparatory Action and the future European Defense Research Program, with the aim of optimizing common funding and avoiding competition between the two countries.

France and Germany will develop a common strategy to pool and increase research and technology in dual-use digital technology (in the broadest sense, including artificial intelligence, robotics, Quantum computing), as well as to analyze the influence of these technologies on defense. A common industrial roadmap will be developed. It will identify priority areas, facilitate the transfer of knowledge from research to industry, and identify financial mechanisms, taking into account existing initiatives.

- Evaluation of progress:
The French and German defense ministers will meet in October and December 2017 to assess the progress of the joint actions mentioned above.

France and Germany will work to coordinate their policies to control exports of military capabilities.

III. Improving Operational Cooperation

- Cooperation with the G5 Sahel
The Sahel region faces many security threats, in particular the constant pressure from terrorist groups and a significant flow of trafficking. France, Germany and the G5 Sahel countries have a common interest in facing these challenges together. France and Germany pledge to lead a joint initiative supporting the development of the G5 multinational force to more effectively combat illegal cross-border activities and terrorist groups.

In order to ensure proper ownership, the G5 countries will have to make their own ambitious contributions. France and Germany are planning to significantly strengthen the capabilities of the G5 multinational force, in terms of equipment and training.

This initiative is a starting point for further bilateral European support, and is part of the overall joint effort of the United Nations and the European Union. In the future, the Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy could play a key role in coordinating the support of the European Union and, where appropriate, of the Member States.

As part of the Alliance's enhanced advanced presence, France will deploy troops to NATO's battlegroup in Lithuania in 2018, with Germany as a framework nation.

This joint deployment will help strengthen the interoperability of our armed forces.

- Air Force Co-operation
In accordance with the intergovernmental agreement signed between the ministries of defense on 10 April, France and Germany pledged to create a binational C-130J military transport aircraft unit by 2021, and to open a bilateral training center in Évreux. This initiative will help create a common operational culture among our air forces. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full document, on the Elysée Palace website.


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