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The Future of Defence Tech Security and Aerospace in the EU Roundtable

Defence Roundtable

The Future of DefenceTech, Security and Aerospace in the EU Roundtable
(in collaboration with Renew Europe)

Conclusions following the meeting of 10.07.2023, Hilton Athenée Palace, Bucharest

A high-level roundtable dedicated to the defense sector took place on July 10, 2023, in Bucharest, in the context of the current paradigm changes at the European level, largely determined by the war in Ukraine.

The conflict has revealed several EU vulnerabilities in key areas such as security, defence and energy market, putting the very current model of European solidarity to the test. It has become clearer than ever the need for a new security framework both at the European level, as well as at the global level, which requires a structured approach at the economic level, especially with regard to defense industrial policies. The state will have to assume a central role in industrial policy development in the field of defense, policies that respond to some strategic premises assumed by the respective state, depending on its competitive advantages. For example, to take advantage of the presence of some in-house manufacturing capabilities, or by developing and delivering digital and cyber security solutions – key assets in the case of Romania.

Romania is, at this moment, at a turning point at the geopolitical level. Such a context can bring both risks and opportunities, depending on the strategy chosen by the rulers. It is a favorable moment for Romania to prepare and adopt a new strategy in the field defense, based on an integrated vision regarding the development and organization of the domestic defense industry.
The strategy could focus on several key elements, such as:

  • Elaboration of an audit of the legislative framework applicable to the defense industry, procurement and a the offset regime, in particular with regard to the transfer of technologies, followed by simplification procurement procedures;

  • Prioritizing partnerships and collaboration with the private sector as a source of expertise and human capital, but also to benefit from the adaptability and managerial ability to respond in real time to needs, factors much more present in the private environment than the public one;

  • Paying more attention to attracting European defense funds;

  • Including the banking system in discussions from the very beginning, since it is not at all prepared to support and fund an eventual capacity-building effort of the defense industries;

  • Preparation of management plans for future crises;

Investments and industrial development decisions must start from the identification of niches which have the ability to produce differentiators and increase the interest of partners to start new collaborations. Moments of crisis can act as a catalyst, but successful preparations and planning it must take place long before a country is in crisis.

With his new positioning in the field of defense and security of Romania cannot fail to take into account the challenges and vulnerabilities pre-existing and deepened by the war, such as the Green Deal, the energy market, the relationship with China or human rights. These macro themes involve expanding the debate framework for the next meeting and the involvement of all those with a decisive role in financing, management and development of defense, security, technology and related industries.

Concluzii în urma întâlnirii din 10.07.2023, Hilton Athenee Palace, București

concluzii intalnire 10.07.2023-defence 2