Select Committee on Defence Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum from Astrium (20 December 2000)

  Thank you for your letter of 3 November 2000. We have reviewed the agreement in some detail, and please find below our perspectives.

  It is a comprehensive statement, with good intentions. The section on industrial restructuring does not say anthing different to previous practices in this area, that is to say it is not inhibited, providing that the usual retention of key national capabilities issues are borne in mind.

  The articles on export licensing are encouraging in that they provide the intent to make a smoother process.

  There is a small concern regarding the section on defence R&D; that it could lead to more bureaucracy, but the rest of the statements appear to have good intent.

  In overal terms we welcome the Agreement as a general framework for enhancing cooperation between the Parties on defence topics in the context of industrial restructuring. We particularly welcome the clear recognition of the importance of avoiding undue interference in the necessary evolution of European industrial companies for greater efficiency, whilst recognising national interests in retaining critical capabilities. The Agreement sets the stage for the development of more specific implementing arrangements between the Parties, on a range of important topics. It is in the development of such practical specifics that it will be vital that Industry is closely involved.

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