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French minister calls for common European defense industry

Staff Writer | June 12, 2018
French Defense Minister Florence Parly called on European partners to join efforts to build a common security force and unite the bloc's military industry to face competition and overcome security challenges.
Florence Parly
Europe   French Defense Minister Florence Parly
At the opening ceremony of the Eurosatory defense and security exhibition held here, Parly told those gathered that "the show is at the crossroads of our ambitions, an ambition for innovation, an ambition for our cooperation."

"The fragmentation of the European industrial landscape is a brake on our development. We need to build a common industry. We can not act together if our equipment does not communicate, does not understand each other," she said.

Parly stressed the need to create "a European grammar of equipment," which she said would help to win markets by making the best equipment at best price.

Eurosatory, the world's largest international land and air defense and security exhibition, kicked off on Monday in Paris, drawing manufacturers, engineers, media, and experts from around the world to shed light on the most innovative military equipment and new defense systems.

Created in 1967, the show this year attracted 1,758 exhibitors from 64 countries, most notably from France, the United States and Germany, the main defense product exporters, data from organizers showed.

With $5.2-billion in military sales, France targets to invest one billion euro ($1.18 billion) per year in research and technology until 2022, as part of the government's drive to encourage innovation, according to the minister.

In 2016, 1,571 exhibitors from 57 countries participated.

Taking place every two years, the 2018 event runs form June 11 to 15.