Defense News
April 19, 2022

First-ever defense talks between US, EU near amid Ukraine war

…U.S. and European Union officials are preparing a new meeting later this month officials hope will tie the two global players closer together on defense.

The event is meant to open an additional trans-Atlantic channel on security matters and complement similar communications already happening via NATO, officials have said. Having such a forum specifically for the trade-minded European Union would energize the bloc’s defense ambitions and signal Washington’s link to the continent on yet another level, the thinking goes.

Speaking at the Atlantic Council think tank earlier this month, Charles Fries, a senior official at the EU diplomatic service, said the “dialogue on security and defense” would happen later in April in Brussels….

European Union chief diplomat Josep Borrell and Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the “dialogue” format in early December 2021, to happen sometime in early 2022….


Fries said six U.S. companies are already plugged into the nascent EU defense bureaucracy by way of their membership in industry consortia led by European companies. In addition, he said, the Pentagon is prominently involved in a Dutch-led project to ease the flow of troops and military equipment across European Union member nations.


Previously, officials on both sides of the Atlantic had wanted to finish negotiating a key document on their defense relationship, a so-called administrative arrangement between the U.S. Defense Department and the European Defence Agency, before holding the first “dialogue” meeting.


The pact would allow routine interactions between American and EU institutions on defense issues and open the door for U.S. defense contractors to participate in the bloc’s growing defense spending under certain conditions.