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Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier argues that the capability of the EU defense industry depends largely on France’s nuclear deterrence strategy. The article examines France’s key role in the European defense industry, the implications of strategic autonomy and the challenges of cooperation and supply chains.
As Russia escalates its war in Ukraine, the question of European defense and autonomy takes on added importance. Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier emphasizes France’s central role in the technological and industrial development of the European defense industry. This article examines Trappier’s statements and their implications for the future of European defense.
The EU Defense Industry: A French Pillar:
According to Eric Trappier, the capacity of the EU defense industry rests largely on France. He explains that France’s six-decade-long strategy of nuclear deterrence has encouraged cutting-edge technological investment in the country. This approach has contributed to the development of a defense and technology industrial base specific to France, reinforcing its skills and expertise.
Strategic autonomy and French technology:
Strategic autonomy is a key objective for the EU, and according to Trappier, it is based on the recognition of France’s technological and industrial superiority in the production of cutting-edge defense equipment. To achieve greater independence in defense matters, it is essential to build on the technical capabilities of member states and foster the growth of the defense industry within the EU.
Criticisms and challenges of European cooperation:
France has been criticized by other EU member states for promoting defense cooperation that appears to benefit mainly its own interests. France’s predominant involvement in European defense industry R&D projects raises concerns about excessive profit-seeking. Some companies and smaller member states fear that this trend could be perceived as greed, which could have implications for future cooperation.
European Defense: Investing in French Technology:
Europe’s defense autonomy ultimately depends on France’s ability to develop, grow and export its military expertise. French companies such as Dassault Aviation play a central role in achieving this objective. The idea of creating a pan-European defense force is being debated, but Trappier warns against abandoning skills and technologies already acquired.
France’s role in the European defense industry is undeniably crucial, especially in the current context of geopolitical tensions. The French defense industry has helped shape the EU’s ability to defend its interests and achieve greater strategic autonomy. However, questions remain concerning balanced cooperation between member states and the preservation of the EU’s common interests. The EU’s ability to guarantee an autonomous defense will depend on its ability to draw on strategic partnerships and advanced technological skills.
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