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Akkoord bereikt over Europees defensie-agentschap (en)

Met dank overgenomen van EUobserver (EUOBSERVER), gepubliceerd op dinsdag 15 juni 2004, 9:39.
Auteur: | By Honor Mahony

EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Monday gave their approval to a defence agency intended to improve military capabilities.

The agreement came after some last minute issues, raised by Portugual at the end of last week, were resolved.

Diplomats said, according to Reuters, that Lisbon had objected to a provision for militarily advanced countries such as Britain, France and Germany to set up arms projects that would only be open to others by invitation.

Also, heated discussions between France and Britain were reported over the involvement of third countries and how much autonomy the agency would have from member states' foreign and defence ministers.

The new agency, which will be enshrined in the new Constitution set to be agreed at the end of this week, is designed to boost research, joint procurement and development in defence.

It is also intended to help member states play catch up with the US which spends far more on defence research.

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