The signing of the Lancaster House Treaties (2010) marked a historic moment in the realm of defence and security relations between France and the United Kingdom. Besides the obvious cost-saving attractions in the age of austerity, there are clear strategic reasons for such a project between two European heavyweights, and lay the foundations for a conducive long-term relationship.
While there has been clear evidence of progress on this in the last three years, the natural question to ask is what lies on the road ahead. Amongst others, the following broad issues will be considered:
- Can the desire for defence budget savings go from being one of the key motivations of the project to being its biggest threat?
- Is Francois Hollande’s desire to portray France as a leader in the realms of foreign policy and defence compatible with the need to address the counties internal issues?
- How does the project sit within the broader European context? How should France deal with the effects of growing euroscepticism in the UK, and what would happen to defence cooperation in the case of a British exit from the EU?
- How can co-operation and knowledge sharing between the nations help combat the growing threat from ‘home-grown’ terror?
In preparation, workshop participants might want to refer to the following sources as a starting point:
Chick, C (2013) – 2013 FBC Annual Defence Conference (Report). Available at http://www.francobritishdefence.org/data/files/reports/2013_REPORT_FBC_light.pdf (English version) or http://www.francobritishdefence.org/data/files/reports/Rapport-francais.pdf (French version)
Jones, B. (2011). Franco-British military cooperation: a new engine for European defence?. European Union Institute for Security Studies, Occasional paper 88. Available at http://www.iss.europa.eu/uploads/media/op88–Franco-British_military_cooperation–a_new_engine_for_European_defence.pdf
Le Drian, J-Y (2013). Defence Policy – Speech to the Franco-British Council. Available at http://www.ambafrance-uk.org/Defence-Minister-on-Franco-British
Taylor, C. (2010). Franco-British Defence Co-operation, House of Commons Standard Note SN/IA/5750. Available at www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN05750.pdf
Gomis, B. (2014). The European implications of Franco-British defence cooperation, World Politics Review, Available at http://www.europeangeostrategy.org/2014/02/european-implications-franco-british-defence-cooperation/
The FB-Connections is not responsible for external content.
Daniel Fiott is an Associate Analyst at the European Union Institute for Security Studies, and focuses his work on European defence-industrial cooperation. In 2013 he became a Senior Editor of the online magazine European Geostrategy. Since 2013 he has also been a co-author of the ‘Europe and the Rest of the World’ article included in the Journal of Common Market Studies’ Annual Review. From 2009-2012, Fiott was a Research Fellow at the College of Europe’s Brussels-based think-tank the Madariaga Foundation. Prior to this he served as a researcher at other think-tanks, international organisations and non-governmental organisations.
Nada Kovalcikova has been doing research and is a practitioner in the field of international politics and security. She has wide experience of working for various national and international organisations including American Field Service, European Parliament and NATO. Nada is also an editor for an online magazine A S A European. She holds degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), from the Institute of Political Science (Sciences Po Paris) and from the University of Economics in Bratislava (EUBA)
Rohan Sakhrani: Rohan studied Economics at Oxford for his undergrad and is currently doing his Masters at Cambridge in the same. His key field of interest is the economics of energy policy and regulation. After graduating, he is keen to apply the knowledge gained through his degrees in either the public or private sphere as an economist