The Role of Expertise in the Development of European Defence Capabilities

Antonio Calcara

In a violent international system and in the context of economic austerity there is an important debate, at the political level, on the urgency for a greater defence in Europe. In this evolving landscape, defence-industrial cooperation in Europe is characterised by complex inter-organisational dynamics between the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT). These two organizations are in charge to manage, respectively, the processes of Pooling and Sharing and of Smart Defence, two different capabilities-development initiatives that overlap geographically and functionally. Moreover, EDA-NATO ACT relationship is characterised by formal and informal interactions on a routine basis among experts and pratictioners.However, the everyday practices of the people that work in and collaborate with these two organizations remain to be studied systematically. No empirical studies have been conducted to assess the role of the network of experts that populate defence-industrial cooperation at the European level.This study is aimed to answer the following questions : what is the relation, on a formal and informal level, between EDA's and NATO's staff? Are these networks of experts capable of generating a process of socialization among pratictioners in the European defence policy? What is the effectiveness of their role vìs à vìs national member states counterparts?This empirical micro-analysis on the work of experts is essential to analyse how defence cooperation work in practice and to pay more attention to bottom-up processes within European security and defence governance.

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