Surviving austerity

Surviving austerity: The case for a new approach to EU military collaboration

Tomas Valasek
22 April 2011

A wave of budgetary austerity is weakening Europe’s defences. The armed forces of Europe will lose important skills and capabilities unless they can find ways of saving money through collaboration. Tomas Valasek examines previous efforts at pooling and sharing, and explains why some succeeded better than others. The formation of joint units works better if the countries involved have similar sizes and strategic cultures, and if they trust each other and have comparable attitudes to the defence industry. European leaders should encourage various groups of compatible member-states to work together in military ‘islands of co-operation’.