Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Communique from the Franco-British love in is up.

Some of it is rather broad brush, but there are some interesting snippets.

Defence

They have signed off a whole bunch of joint funds and joint defence development projects. Apparently they will:

Cooperate to develop European military capabilities, available to both the EU and NATO, in particular in the fields of :

• Carrier Group operations: by facilitating the generation of a combined maritime strike capability when required for national, EU-led or NATO operations. This capability could be expanded to other European countries able and willing to make a contribution.

• A 400M: France and the UK will pursue a common approach to in service support for interoperability and through life cycle costs optimisation, including common configuration management with other A400M nations; our aim is to cover the requirements of both France and the UK in a single joint contract.

• Helicopters: by addressing critical shortfalls in capability which constrain the deployment of helicopters in operations. Support will be given to initiatives such as pilot operational and advanced training courses, upgrading aircraft and establishment of a trust fund that could improve the availability of helicopters to our European partners and NATO allies. Other nations are invited to contribute to this effort. We support both the EDA and NATO's role in addressing European helicopter capability shortfalls.

Climate Change

Despite the UK's opposition to "green" tariffs it has agreed to the principle of them in the absence of a Kyoto successor.

It calls on the Commission to "Urgently analyse and address the risk of carbon leakage in order for appropriate measures to be implemented in the event that other countries do not commit to taking adequate measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the context of an international agreement. An international agreement remains the best way of addressing this issue."

They also agreed to "Collaborate in the development of a comprehensive EU energy security strategy for the EU" later this year.

Business

The communique calls for "an EU Small Business Act that delivers a package of measures aimed at cutting EU regulation for small businesses, including making more use of exemptions from regulations." We'll believe that when we see it working, but it's interesting nonetheless.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The EU keeps ranting on about the ill-starred A400M military transport because of the employment opportunities it offers in France, Germany, & Spain where separate parts of it will all be made.

This aircraft was first conceived in 1982, but not ordered until 2003, nor has it yet had its first roll-out, let alone its first flight which hopefully will occur late this year if we & the EU are lucky! Meanwhile, as always, the US makes a much more capable aircraft - the C17 Globemaster III - which has been in squadron service since early 1995, with over 200 built or ordered to date.

I know which plane I would prefere the UK to put its hard-earned money into: the US Globemaster of course - rather than the EU's fantasy plane, the A400M!