Today’s Ministers of Defence meeting: clear commitment for more Pooling & Sharing projects
(30. November 2011)
EDA has proposed eleven areas for cooperation. Among them, Medical Field Hospitals, Air to Air Refuelling, Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR), Pilot Training, European Transport Hubs, Smart Munitions, Naval Logistics and Training. These new projects build on the success stories of Helicopter Training Programme, Maritime Surveillance Networking and European Satellite Communication Procurement Cell (ESCPC). Some projects will kick off soon – already in December 2011.
Medical Field Hospitals: The provision of medical capability is a fundamental enabler for any military operation and deployable medical capability is both scarce and expensive. It is an ideal capability for European Pooling and Sharing due to commonly recognized civilian qualifications and it is very much a “dual use” civ/mil capability that can be utilized in humanitarian operations. Italy proposed the deployable field hospital initiative at the EUMC CHODS meeting on 3 May 2011 and subsequently undertook to lead the initiative through EDA. The modular concept is based on work done under the auspices of NATO and allows a wide range of levels of contributions within a flexible framework. Importantly, a pre-operational integration capability is envisaged to bring the modules together prior to deployment. Work has already commenced with 12 Member States (AT, BE, CY, CZ, FR, FI, HU, IE, IT, RO, SE, SL and possibly NL) with the plan to field deployable capability in 2014.
Vor drei Jahren wurde berichtet, dass speziell dieses Feldspital völlig veraltet ist:
Heer fehlt eine Milliarde Euro (3. November 2008)
Ausführlich ließ sich Darabos auch ein italienisches Feldspital zeigen: Hätte Italien dieses in Zelten und Containern untergebrachte und relativ leicht im Lufttransport verlegbare Spital nicht in letzter Minute zur Verfügung gestellt, hätte die gesamte EU-Mission in den Tschad abgeblasen werden müssen. Ein ähnliches medizinisches Angebot wird auch Österreich machen müssen - es hat vorgesehen, unter anderem ein ähnliches Spital ab 2011 in eine künftige internationale Brigade einzubringen.
Die Ausschreibung für die Beschaffung eines solchen Spitals wird für das kommende Frühjahr erwartet. Gesucht wird dem Vernehmen nach ein erfahrener Generalunternehmer, der die Ausstattung zusammenstellen kann. Aus wehrmedizinischen Kreisen wird aber darauf hingewiesen, dass die materielle Ausstattung eines solchen Feldspitals nur ein Teil der Aufgabe ist: Mindestens ebenso wichtig wäre es, im Bundesheer entsprechend ausgebildete Ärzte heranzuziehen. Diese würden normalerweise in zivilen Spitälern Dienst tun, müssten aber für einen Einsatz rasch bereitstehen. Und sie müssten laufend auf dem neuesten Ausbildungsstand der Wehrmedizin gehalten werden.
RAT DER EUROPÄISCHEN UNION
Brüssel, den 23. Mai 2011 (24.05)
Schlussfolgerungen des Rates zu Bündelung und gemeinsamer Nutzung militärischer Fähigkeiten
_________________________________________THE IMPACT OF THE FINANCIAL CRISIS ON EUROPEAN DEFENCE
Until today European forces fight together in various theatres around the world, but they are still largely organised and equipped separately. At the EU level virtually no joint funding for capabilities or equipment exists. Joint spending in the area of armaments is more the exception than the rule: amounting only to about 20%.
This lack of resources at the EU level is contrasted by inefficient national level practices whereby the 27 EU defence ministers and their bureaucratic apparatuses currently spend over 200 billion euros a year and manage approx. 1.7 million soldiers but cannot make 10 percent of these forces available for active deployment. The inability for EU Member States to better coordinate their defence policies and budgetary cycles results in missed opportunities to make up growing capability shortfalls and their achievement of international military commitments including within the framework of CSDP.Capability development in Europe
, i.e. the phase of capability development (planning, set up, organisation and routine management of armed forces) and the preceding armaments phase (generating and maintaining equipment) has the following major problems:
In the phase of capability development the EU has developed a plethora of initiatives, bodies and agencies but with limited record of delivery on capabilities. The are headline goals, concepts, plans and mechanisms that can only provide a rudimentary answer to the question “What forces for what operations”. The EU institutions have worked upon creating a shared perception of the problems and needs. Member states have certainly engaged in developing collective military capabilities at the EU level. But beyond EU-Battlegroups, an EU Headquarters and strategic lift which offer at least some palpable output, they still recognise severe capability shortfalls. This is predominantly a question of political will where EU Member States fail to commit themselves beyond the level that supports individual national capability needs. But in addition the EU- level actors, i.e. in the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS), remain disjointed in the effort to create a system that generates a “bigger bang for the Euro”.Several innovations during the last decade
The armaments phase is less characterized by the strained relationship among traditional national industrial and technology policies on the one hand and internationalized market and production structures on the other. In addition, article 346 (TFEU) and the principle of juste retour cooperation hinders EU level cooperation and encourages initiatives outside the EU- framework. The result is a complex pattern of structural cooperation that is characterized by an obstructing diversity of 27 EU member state policies of defence, market, technology and industry. EU taxpayers carry the burden i.a. of duplication of defence industrial production sites. As these suppliers offer more than the EU market can absorb, industries are forced to export. In addition, protected domestic markets with a limited numbers of suppliers do not contribute to the competitiveness of producers and therefore result in more costly equipment.
The most serious problem however is the missing link between the EU armaments and the capability development phases. They are both institutionally and conceptually fragmented and there are virtually no resources available for both, besides those controlled by the EU Member States. As a consequence national and multinational equipment programmes always arrive too late, more expensive than envisaged and under-perform. The link between the armaments phase and the capability development phase is of paramount importance for effective and efficient capability generation as a whole. In particular, coherence in the generation of capabilities creates important advantages and even essential conditions for defence cooperation i.e. what you develop and build jointly, you can operate and maintain jointly.
have engaged with these problems and in particular the poorly developed link between the armaments and the capability development domains. The European Defence Agency (EDA) represents the missing link between the capability development and the armaments phases. It can engage with the whole spectrum of capability relevant issues: research & technology, markets & Industry, capability development and armaments. However, the success of the EDA is limited due to the limited use by the Member States and especially Ministries of Defence (MoDs) of their Agency.
The EU Commission has succeeded in establishing a role at the intersection of defence vis-à-vis issues of internal market, industrial policies and research. It may be the only actor that can effectively establish a framework for competitiveness through defence specific legislation and policies. A litmus test for the Commissions future role will be the implementation of the "defence package", a set of two directives that offer a harmonized legal framework for procurement and the transfer of military items. The package not only engages with the Member States dominance in the armaments domain but it could also lead to a profound change in procurement practices.
In addition, the Lisbon Treaty introduces an innovative package that has real potential to improve the coherence of the overall institutional framework and in particular the area of EU-capability generation. The protocol on Permanent Structured Cooperation (PSCoop) could in a long-term perspective bolster the link between the armaments framework and the capability development phase
as well as enhance the role of the EDA. However, competing political visions and ambiguous strategic objectives complicate the road to implementing the innovations in the Lisbon Treaty. In addition, the current financial crisis has weakened Member States confidence, so far, to table tangible proposals on how to implement PSCoop.
The financial crisis creates a turning point for the generation of capabilities for all EU Member States – albeit with an unclear direction so far. Member states have to adapt the affected policy areas to these new realities. This is even true for those few states whose defence budget is not affected by the financial crisis. As contributions to security and defence of individual members decrease, all EU countries are affected. This may be through decreasing guarantees for their territorial defence or through increasing demands for troop contributions to crisis management for those who remain capable to deliver. While this may initially create free riding, losing the ability to contribute to EU security will soon be felt as the inability to shape policies.
However, there is a considerable risk that a loss of the capacity to act in the military realm is only perceived after significant cuts into EU capabilities and loss of industrial and technological base have already taken place.
The initial response of member states to the financial crisis has been to evoke the traditional pattern of national prerogatives in defence matters rather than a security guided rationale. The member states have sidelined NATO and the EU in identifying spending cuts. They planned and started to implement their current reforms in a rather uncoordinated manner. At the same time, member states know little about the defence reforms and cuts that their neighbours and alliance partners in EU and NATO have implemented. Hence, they seem to be willing to accept and even actively work towards reduced levels of common security by cutting capabilities without informing one another of the consequences or gaps that are created by the alliance or EU as a whole.
The impact of budget pressure on EU Member States’ defence establishments differs significantly from country to country. This diversity is to some extent a matter of political priorities.
But it is obviously only a matter of time until the increasing pressure of servicing public debt arrives at the defence budget and forces it to contribute to fiscal consolidation. However, it is questionable whether the required savings can be achieved by simply shrinking the existing national defence structures and armed forces. Especially for small and medium sized countries, whereby keeping their military ambitions has become a costly reality which they cannot escape. The most dramatic cuts of all have taken place amongst the small EU Member States with cuts above 30%. The majority of middle-sized states have implemented cuts on average of 10%.
Among the bigger EU Members under pressure, there seems to be the most political and economic room for manoeuvre.
Analysing the current problems and reactions of EU member states, a very heterogeneous picture unfolds. In those states deciding to implement defence-related cuts, the decision on how to distribute savings across the defence apparatus has varied. For instance this study identifies that:
Whilst the EU Level of military Ambition (LoA) as well as that of a majority of Member States has not changed officially so far, the UK and Germany have already reduced their ambitions. A key interest shared among almost all EU Member States is to enhance the deployability and sustainability of their armed forces in distant theatres. To these types of operation, middle-sized and smaller Member States are looking to provide niche capabilities and work towards role specialization. The bigger EU countries still aim to maintain full-spectrum forces.
Whilst a majority of EU Member States struggle with personnel costs, it will be difficult to realize significant savings in this area over the short or even the medium term due to contractual obligations or military needs.
In the area of armaments, the serious risk of a growing gap between “modernizers” and “procurement cutters” increases, due to very diverging reactions to the financial crisis. It may affect the ability of some Member States to contribute to future multinational operations. Generally, cuts in the area of procurement (planned or realized) reached a much lower level across EU member states than discussed at the beginning of national response plans.
In the area of Operations and Maintenance, a majority of Member States used the opportunity to accelerate the decommissioning of older capabilities.
For international military engagements, almost no Member State has to date opted for a withdrawal. However, most Member States did reduce the number of troops in certain missions and/or shift their weight across their multiple engagements.
The defence industries in the EU have not been seriously affected by the crisis so far. But a longterm fiscal downturn implies serious programme cuts or delays for almost all EU member states for future programmes. Whilst the demand may be lower and the market volume may shrink, it will come along with increased imperatives for value-for-money. This may turn into additional arguments for EU based companies to further develop footholds in the US and emerging markets like Asia and South America. Member states with significant defence industry have reacted quite differently so far – in line with their traditional approach to defence industrial policy.
More recently, Europe has seen a number of bilateral and multilateral initiatives for capability development and a renewed interest in Pooling & Sharing
. Whilst the necessary mix for the success of these initiatives is difficult to define some variables play an enabling role, such as regional proximity and similar geographic size; common strategic culture and pre-existing political cooperation as well as the alignment of political interests; and finally, defence industrial relations are likely to be supportive if they are asymmetrical
(i.e. diverging industrial landscape that will not suffer from a cooperation induced rationalisation in the industrial sector).
The characteristics of existing examples of Pooling & Sharing (P&S) show the wide spectrum of forms and areas of application international cooperation can take. What items and services can be subject to P&S and what has to be kept purely national varies greatly among Member States. They typically evolve around user groups for equipment or specific capability shortfalls.
Whilst they often build on existing cooperation among EU Member States, the majority are not integrated into the EU framework with the exception of EU-Battlegroups. Some of the larger P&S examples were first developed within the NATO context. The majority of analysed Pooling & Sharing initiatives comprise five or less participants.
When assessing the eight most prominent new initiatives, (Franco-Brish Pact, NORDEFCO, Nordic-Baltic Pact, South Eastern Europe Defence Ministerial process, Visegrad Four, Wiemar Triangle, Franco-German Cooperation, Ghent Process), the study identifies that they vary greatly in number of participants and scope. However, they may be the first sign of a new political momentum for bottom-up processes for capability development that draws first lessons from the financial crisis and more sensibly take into account the security repercussions of ill-conceived cuts in capabilities. Entirely new initiatives, inspired by the financial crisis are limited to the Ghent Initiative and the Nordic pact. Besides them, current re-energizing of initiatives builds upon established relations at the highest political levels or upon pre-existing cooperative frameworks, or both. These vary significantly regarding membership, objectives, stages of preparation and output. Moreover, not only multilateral but also bilateral cooperation has been revisited, with the Franco-British pact being the most prominent example.
Still, it remains to be seen whether these initiatives support or undermine CSDP and European capability development in general. Currently, there are mixed attitudes whereby EU Member States can be divided into three groups according to their attitude towards this revival of defence cooperation initiatives
. There are the "Activists"
that are actively looking for cooperation options or leading efforts in this domain, and including France, Germany, Poland Netherlands Sweden, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Hungary and Bulgaria. There are the "Undecided"
who have an ambiguous stance regarding closer defence cooperation within the EU (the UK, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Romania) and who may favour e.g. the NATO framework or bilateral formats (French-British Agreement). There are the "Specialists"
including a number of smaller states constrained by the proportionate burden a military imposes on a small national economy and who are therefore interested in developing niche capabilities that would ultimately lead to some form of role specialization amongst in the EU.
Recommendations: elements of an EU Defence sector strategy
The EU’s current political atmosphere may well limit the appetite for more initiatives towards defence cooperation. However, three arguments highlight why an EU as a capable military actor is a necessity forresponsible governments vis-à-vis their populations rather than a question of choice and taste.
1. The US will in future be less available for EU requests for help.
2. EU member states have not been able to ensure their security individually - the effects of the financial crisis reinforce and indeed accelerate this trend. A significant capacity to act can only be generated through pooling at the EU level.
3. Whilst policies for conflict prevention have to play a major role in EU crisis management, the option to resort to military force as part of a political strategy cannot be ruled out.
Using the current financial situation as a turning point to concentrate minds and budgets upon more effective and efficient EU capability generation highlights that Europe needs a defence sector strategy as a comprehensive answer to the problems outlined above. This should include the conceptual, institutional and material links between the armaments phase and the capability development phase as well as increased performance in each phase.
Therefore, this study proposes a more comprehensive approach to the defence sector – overcoming the current piecemeal approach to the various problems. The recommendations concentrate on the shape of an effective EU defence sector strategy during a period of austerity (linking especially the industrial and capability dimensions); the necessary steps to introduce and implement that strategy in practice; as well as the options for the European Parliament to support Member States in developing such a coherent and comprehensive approach.
It starts with the conceptual link: an EU Strategic Defence and Security Review that would enable a dialogue among EU Member States on the ways and means they have already developed to live up to their obligations in the EU and NATO and how they would like to organize themselves in future, taking into account the circumstances of the financial crisis and national cuts.
To increase the institutional link the full potential of the European Defence Agency (EDA) should be used as a forum and permanent secretariat for multinational projects. Adapting the EDA to the times of austerity should include national finance ministers playing a bigger role. Permanent Structured Cooperation introduced under the Lisbon treaty should be envisaged as a long-term objective that can currently only be achieved by bottom-up generated examples of best practice. These may act as inspiration for further tangible areas of cooperation for Permanent Structured Cooperation.
Linking resources is possible in three different areas: pooling of national Research and Technology funds that are currently under imminent threat because of the financial crisis. The links could be based upon industrial and time-related priorities. Common investment and procurement programmes are an option to consolidate demand. Although prominent examples like the A400 M may reduce the appetite for multinational programmes, it is important to remember the performance of national procurement programmes is not necessarily better. It is important to focus upon the discipline in keeping the harmonisation of the requirements throughout the whole production process. At a different level one can also envisage linking the funding of R&T to the general EU budget via a redefined role of the EDA.
Specifically related to the capability development phase, the study proposes several areas for Pooling & Sharing. It also highlights the opportunity to use the ATHENA mechanism, currently limited to operations as such, to purchase common equipment for EU operations. Likewise, the EU Battlegroups have already shown their utility as a testbed for new military solutions within an agreed political framework. Following on from this positive experience new ideas could be tested. For instance, Battlegroups themselves could be the subject of an intensified and widened Pooling and Sharing approach, allowing for a more complex and real threat related capability. Last but not least, this model of pooled capabilities and very deep military cooperation could be extended to wider military structures.
Engaging with the armaments dimension most effectively requires greater understanding of the industrial policies of EU member states. Far beyond defence specific aspects, Member states would have to develop an understanding about industrial priorities in times of austerity and thus find a formula for a more coordinated European Industrial policy. Here the Commission, including through its defence package, may play a certain role. The next step would then be to elaborate a defence industrial Headline Goal 2030 that sets out common industrial and technological priorities for the EU defence sector. At the same time EU Member States have to engage in greater consolidation of demand through joint R&T projects or through bundling demand for shared capabilities (ie harmonization of demand, synchronization of procurement, cooperative or common procurement). Moreover, defence firms should be encouraged to expand their activities into the security field to buffer against upcoming rationalisation and to offer alternative options vis-à-vis export markets.
A number of middle-sized and small member-states explicitly aim to offer niche capabilities and work with other smaller states towards a role specialization. These countries are not able or willing to maintain armed forces covering the entire spectrum of conflict anymore. Belgium maintains niche capabilities for conventional conflict (combat aircraft, special forces, frigates and mine-hunters); the Czech Republic focuses on NBC protection, MedEvac and electronic warfare; Romania is building up niche capabilities in the special operations sector in cooperation with the United States; Hungary is starting to draw up options for specialization, including a focus on NBC protection and favouring cooperative role-specialisation with smaller nations such as Austria, Slovenia, Finland and Belgium. Luxemburg specializes in reconnaissance and Latvia in medical response, military police and engineering support. Cyprus and Slovakia have expressed an interest in identifying options for specialisation but haven’t yet done so.
Personnel Expenditure: difficult to shrink
Personnel expenditure accounts for more than 50% of the EU member states defence budgets. Italy, Bulgaria and Romania represent extremes in this respect, as they spend between 70% and 80% of their defence budget on personnel costs. On top of 1.6 mio soldiers, more than 400,000 civilian personnel work in EU defence ministries.
A large majority of EU states struggles with personnel costs due to overblown bureaucratic structures in their Defence Ministries and top-heavy armed services with too large a proportion of high-grade, highincome militaries.
However, reducing personnel costs may clash either with long-term contracts or with already streamlined forces, where further reductions would directly hit capabilities and the ability to contribute to NATO and EU operations. The latter situation holds particularly true for the UK and Sweden. Regularly, the most expensive soldiers or civilians can be found in the upper rungs, being public servants. Hence, reducing their impact on the budget would require additional resources for golden handshakes, or other forms of compensation. Moreover, these people are needed to implement defence reforms, as they often have blocking power within the defence bureaucracies. While defence reforms have already led to leaner personnel structures, reduced end-strength, and increased deployability, they have not been able to replace this type of personnel.
Current efforts to cut personnel costs due to the savings imperative mount up to 20 % (Bulgaria) or even 30% (Netherlands) over the coming years. Efforts take different forms: Cuts in wages or pay freezes are common, notably in Spain, the Czech Republic, Greece, Portugal and Lithuania. Reducing civilian personnel is an option favoured by the majority of member states. Some states seem to have decided on cuts in military end-strength (Italy, Austria, and Belgium).
Armaments: potential gap between modernizers and procurement cutters
As a first reflex, many countries sought to cut the costs of procurement contracts and armament projects. This may slow down or endanger modernisation and is often not a practicable solution, as many states are bound to these projects by long-term contracts. Cancellation of contracts often incurs costs through penalty clauses comparable to the original costs for the equipment. Besides, they have to factor in the effects lower investments in defence procurement will have for their defence contractors.
Resulting from this mixture of motivations cuts have been realized to a much lower level than discussed at the beginning of national response plans. Still, ongoing debate and decision fuels the risk of a growing gap between “modernizers” and “procurement cutters” at the EU level. Especially bigger member states have decided to keep their procurement contracts. But almost all countries aim to either delay the programme output or to reduce the quantities to be purchased. Some medium-sized and small states decided to postpone decisions on the modernization of key conventional capabilities (esp. multi role combat aircraft, such as the replacements of F-16s for Denmark), whilst others clearly prioritized the modernization of such capabilities (Portugal decided to keep up the modernization of the Air Force while cutting the modernization budget of its land forces by 40% p.a. until 2013, Finland decided on the mid-life upgrade of its F-18s).
A number of cuts in modernization efforts and procurement are almost certain in France, although sectors such as deterrence and ISR will be preserved no matter what. In Germany, cuts and postponement in procurement have not been coordinated enough to effectively contribute towards the needed amount of savings. In Poland, administrative reform and cuts in end-strength go hand in hand with prioritizing expenses for the modernization of the armed forces. Sweden is in a similarly comfortable situation: Supplementary allocations for the period 2010-2015 will boost the reform of the armed forces and for equipment in particular.
Operation & Maintenance: Decommissioning Old Equipment
Most large member states and an important segment of medium-sized states accelerated the decommissioning of older capabilities (e.g. UK, Portugal, France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, and the Netherlands). Most of them (e.g. Portugal, France, Germany, and Austria) try to re-sell them on the European and extra-European markets. How to deal with ongoing acquisition programmes already under contract, such as the A400M or the Eurofighter remained a politically very delicate topic. Germany and Italy decided to re-sell the tranche 3b of the Eurofighter on the international market, begging the question of a coordinated approach to exports lest a downward bidding-spiral results. A similar situation arises with regard to excess A 400M ordered to bolster this European project.
One noteworthy trend in reactions to the financial pressures is the cuts in training made in many states, which have gone hand in hand with an increased interest in using simulators for training, outsourcing training to private firms (Finland, but also Sweden) and most importantly in cooperating with European partners on joint training (Belgium) and on using training simulators multinationally (Germany, Austria).
Pooling & Sharing can improve the economies of scale of armed forces through international cooperation. It can take place in almost every phase of an equipment life cycle. The demand for a helicopter can be pooled, but also the acquisition and the maintenance. Similarly, areas related to armed forces especially in the domain of services like training or logistics can be subject to pooling and sharing. The methods to achieve pooling and sharing can vary. The can be combined to comprise for example outsourcing or pooling of demand for acquisition through joint biddings or tenders.Pooling and sharing can be divided into four types:
- Sharing of capabilities: member states create common capabilities by providing national capabilities. There is no structure to organize their use. One example ist the NATO air policing in the Baltic countries.
- Pooling of capabilities: Member states provide national capabilities. In addition, they set up a structure to organize the use of these national capabilities: the most concrete examples are the European Air Transport Command (EATC) and EU-Battlegroups.
- Pooling through joint acquisition: national capabilities do not exist or become redeemed by multilateral capabilities. A multilateral organization owns the assets. This is the case with NATO AWACS.
- Role and task sharing: certain capabilities or equipment are relinquished because another country will make them available. One example is the takeover of the Dutch Maritime Patrol Aircraft by the Bundeswehr.
Besides a group of individually motivated initiatives, P&S initiatives show several characteristics: They are either “User Groups” based on common equipment or they respond to a specific capability shortfall, like AWACS, AGS, SALIS etc. and are mostly undertaken between Member States with pre-existing patterns of cooperation. In particular there are clusters of regional co-operation. However only the EU Battlegroups are an EU-unique development under the CSDP framework. Some of the larger P&S examples were developed within NATO context. This may indicate the need for strong political leadership. The P&S communities are often small groupings. Sixty percent of all projects consist of up to 5 participants. The most frequent grouping is bilateral co-operation - about 20% of all projects.
Multi-National co operation in Europe
MCCE Movement Coordination Center Europe
Pandur User Group
Dingo User Group