Commissioner Bieńkowska launches high-level group on defence research

A competitive and efficient European defence and technological industrial base requires more investment in research and innovation. However, over the last years this investment has seen dramatic reductions in Europe accompanied by rapidly deteriorating security context. Against this backdrop Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, has set up a high level group of politicians, academics, think tankers and defence company CEOs to advise on how the EU can support research related to the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The creation of the group follows the conclusions of the December 2013 European Council calling for the creation of a so-called Preparatory Action – a term used to describe the testing of a new policy approach requiring financial resources – linked to defence research outside Horizon 2020. In addition to drawing on the expertise of the high-level group and President Juncker’s Special Adviser on European Defence and Security Policy Michel Barnier, Commissioner Bieńkowska is supporting the EU’s industrial defence base through the implementation of the defence directives (on defence procurement, and on EU transfers of defence-related products). Commissioner Bieńkowska will be chairing the first meeting of the Group of Personalities today, Monday 30 March. The list of members of the high-level group is available online.