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EU leaders’ decisions augur big developments for European defence policy, with wider implications for other sectors as well

By PATRICK STEPHENSON and BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – After decades of procrastination, national leaders at their 22-23 June summit here took decisions that now set the stage for the EU’s entry into the defence field, though any talk of an imminent “European” army is fantasy. Nonetheless, important policy proposals by the European Commission were approved. The member states themselves finally agreed to finance their diverse battlegroups to boost the EU’s common security and defence policy (CSDP), for example, while approving plans – far more radical – to allow self-selected EU countries to shift into “permanent structured cooperation” (PESCO) in defence. But these were just some of the approved measures. An interesting coda to these decisions will be their impact on the EU’s…

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EU defence agency studies technology with civil security potential

By BROOKS TIGNER , BRUSSELS – The European Defence Agency (EDA) will soon be reviewing bids in response to one of its tenders to investigate a new kind of technology to protect military air platforms and other targets from attack. The technology could have direct applications for civil security end-users such as police, border control and law enforcement agencies as well – though that would only be a knock-on effect of the research contract since its primary purpose is to benefit Europe’s militaries. The EDA’s call for bids on the future work has just closed. Though its budget is modest, the technological implications are far-reaching since the goal is to scientifically investigate how to...