Germany Might “Soften” its Export Policies
German defence minister Boris Pistorius signals a political shift in defence industry cooperation where he underlines collaboration with strategic partners even if they do not share the same values.
Speaking at a panel discussion at the Berlin Security Conference (BSC), German Minister Pistorius said, “We need more open-minded policy, and we need a change of strategy.”
The minister stressed that with the changes in the international security environment, Germany needs to reconsider its strictly restrictive approach. Minister’s words signal a change in policy as Germany was blocking Eurofighter aircraft and ammunition sales to Saudi Arabia due to its ongoing war in Yemen and the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. France is gaining weight with Rafale due to the sanction. Turkiye’s desire to acquire brand-new Eurofighter aircraft is a second case.
“We deliver weapons or make defence industry cooperation only with countries that share exactly the same values we used to have for decades,” Pistorius added.
German Defence Ministry website states that the defence minister emphasized at the BSC: “It is clear to me: we need strong partnerships and unity in Europe to develop weight and strength.”
According to Pistorius, Europeans can no longer afford to have national armed forces coexisting, each with their specifications, special variants of systems and their own procurement cycles.
The Defence Ministry website also states that the minister looked at further developing the European Union’s common security and defence policy. He expressed his views: “A well-armed Europe must become even more capable of acting in the areas of security and defence than before - but always complementary to NATO. This includes, for example, implementing NATO defence plans. It’s not just about the necessary forces but also about logistics. In this context, military mobility is one of the outstanding European projects. This is where the concrete added value for NATO becomes tangible. Germany has a central responsibility in this regard.”