Jun 14 – 17, 2022
Europe/London timezone

Procuring together, procuring more efficiently? European states and defence procurement in the 21st century

Jun 17, 2022, 3:00 PM
1h 30m
History Room, Student Union

History Room, Student Union

Panel European Security Working Group


Over the last several decades, states have increased their collaboration in the field of defence procurement. In Europe, for instance, following the end of World War II, Western European leaders understood that procuring weapons at the level of individual states was no longer efficient. Since then, deep mutations have affected both procurement practices and the defence market. As a result, nowadays, several factors play into states’ decisions to enter collaborative endeavours to procure military equipment. These factors include, but are not limited to, greater cost of weapons, the globalisation of armaments supply chain and the increasing involvement of international institutions such as the EU seeking to foster collaboration among its member states.
Collaborating in defence procurement might be seen as a win-win situation for the actors involved: they can save money, they can favour economies of scale, thereby lowering the unitary price, and they can also rely on the expertise of other partners. This can ultimately lead to a product of better quality than if they had worked on it on their own. Yet, collaborative weapons is seldom a state’s first choice. Why is that the case? What explains the success or failure of collaborative defence endeavours? What role do international institutions such as the EU and NATO play in pushing states to cooperate? How is Brexit affecting the European procurement market?

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