Bringing Europe's Leaders Together

Club of Three Meeting on Defence
28-29 September 2001, Château des Mesnuls

This meeting took place shortly after the tragic events of 11 September in the United States. Although it focused heavily on defence issues, particularly on the political and commercial aspects of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), the meeting began with an assessment of the international context post-09/11.

Participants discussed whether 09/11 marked the end of a long chapter that had begun in 1919, and whether new frameworks would emerge as a result. The West was certainly entering an age of asymmetric warfare in the fight against terrorism, and this was going to be a period of great pressure for globalisation. For Europeans, multilateralism had to be the way forward although they acknowledged difficulties in making their voice heard in an America at war.

As far as the European defence industry was concerned, there were still too many “white elephant” programmes. It needed to consolidate and streamline if it was going to effectively compete with the US.