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FRANCE: Changes in government, policy continuity in defense and security, Eurosatory 2014.

Alejandro Ronard Alem - Journalist, ESN and EuropeSecurityNews.com Representative in France.

Alejandro Ronard Alem – ESN Associate Director and Contributor in EuropeSecurityNews.com as Associate Representative in France.

by ALEJANDRO RONARD ALEM.- After the electoral defeat in the municipal elections of March 2014, the current French president Francois Hollande wrought changes in government naming the then Home Secretary Manuel Valls as Prime Minister.

A hundred days of this appointment other changes took place in the ruling majority and F. Hollande is promoting a series of social-democrat reforms that creates union resistance among workers and  employers.

But in general terms the governmental strategy of defense and security are maintained, and the government confirmed the overall budget for 2014 without cuts and agree to the ratification of military programming law 2014/2019.

The essence of French foreign policy remains, in terms of participation in the international arena while the French defense kept their operations especially in Africa. While Paris is intensifying its push for the strengthening of regional armaments industry, through the construction of the common European defense beyond NATO, according in this matter to its main ally in this are: Germany.

On security and counter-terrorism, the new interior minister, Bernard Cazeneve, promotes coordination of a joint European policy against jihadists operating subsidiaries in Europe, to prevent the young people who will join the ranks of radical Islamic groups in Syria and then gain experience in combat to return to European soil to perpetrate terrorist acts.

It is believed that in the case of France about 700 jihadists, many of them children, have been indoctrinated this way by the most active groups in the web of Islamic terrorism,  against which parents until now were unable to detect the evolution of such changes in the behavior of their children.

Last developments show the complicated task of European coordination on prevention, awareness and anticipation, in order to prevent tragedies like the murders in the synagogue in Brussels, recently.

On May 2 this year, the French Official Journal published the Decree Law on the establishment of the Directorate General of Internal Security (DGSI) has supplanted the Central Directorate of Internal Intelligence (DCRI). The new agency is under the direct control of the Minister of Interior and is responsible for the whole of France. Its tasks are  to centralize, and exploit the information related to national security and the defense of the fundamental interests of  France.

In relation to the policy of support and incentives to the armament  industry of the French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Minister has increased the amount of international cooperation agreements, supporting merger negotiations within the  Defense industrial sector with German industries and/or Swedish.

Later on we will show  most important cases in the creation of Franco-German industrial complexes for example, following the line of work of the already successful Airbus, EADS, MBDA, etc..

Last June 20th , EUROSATORY 2014  closed its doors for this year ,being  one of the most important shows worldwide, obligatory meeting point of large industrial complexes of the Defense, Security and  arms industry, globally.

In its 24th edition , EUROSATORY  confirmed its position as the World Hall of Defense and Security.

In figures EUROSATORY received 1432 exhibitors from 53 countries with 70% of international companies. Other data of Eurosatory 2014 are:

163.532 M2 interior and exterior surface exposure.

53480 trade visitors from 130 countries, of which 8392 are from the armed and security forces.

152 official delegations from 87 countries.

224 “Eurosatory Guests” from 35 countries.

With 684 accredited journalists from all 5 continents, covering every two years this room.


This international meeting point of the “Armament Businesss” is distinguished by filing “in avant premiere” of more than 400 innovations, with more than 500 types of vehicles, 60 helicopters and drones.

The greatest nations say present at EUROSATORY , and the first to do so is France.

France, whose arms exports increased 42% in 2013 compared to 2012, with 6.7 billion euros of  contracts announced at the beginning of EUROSATORY. And according to the French Minister of Defense, 2014 itself will be a better year, convinced that the export figures will exceed 7 billion euros.

During this edition of EUROSATORY 2014 we in EuropeSecurityNews.com visited different pavilions and Stands/Booths of countries and companies. French regions this year were particularly mobilized in support of small and medium enterprises sector, installed in their territories.

During this 24th edition of EUROSATORY we have also carried out a selection of  companies, regions and products that  in our eyes are very innovative and therefore deserve special mention for its qualities in our pages, and we will henceforth publish.

And some information we gathered in the EUROSATORY, have been officially reported these days; like f.e. for the first time in the history of the European armaments industry there is now  a Franco-German group and this situation happened after the construction in 2000 of EADS and MBDA in 2001.

This new Franco – German giant will be the first group of European land armament companies.

The company formed by NEXTER (French public company) and the German KMW will be definitively established in April 2015.

The French state -to ensure the strategic interests of the country-  will retain 50% within the structure of the new joint company.

But the French Minister of Defense rushed to give specific responses to the industrial defense sector of their country, says;

“This experience with Germany can also be done  at  naval level, eg between DCNS and TKMS” confirming that discussions have begun in this direction with the Swedes.

Last June 26 Jean-Yves Le Drian received his Swedish colleague Carine Enström, while affirming that Sweden is an important partner of France in the defense sector. “Sweden participates with us in foreign operations and share with us the same strategic vision”, the French Minister remarked.

Sweden is also industrial partner of France in some programs of cooperation, as in the case of air-to-air Meteor missile.

Certainly France and Germany will build a ultra sophisticated drone capable of competing with the Americans on the world market. And getting to its German counterpart Ursula Von der Leyen , the French Defense Minister wants to impulse  the alliance between Dassault, Airbus and Finmeccanica as the most suitable solution for the construction of a European drone.

Also at EUROSATORY the French Nexter group through its expertise in armored terrestrial combat systems, announced its partnership with the Brazilian private sector group AVIBRAS, specialized in  artillery.

Partnership in the development  of a 155 CAESAR artillery piece for the Brazilian Army. This agreement also based on a solution of mobility, logistics support and system management together with ASTROS (main product within the Brazilian group); for Nexter represents an opportunity to consolidate its position in South America.

To AVIBRAS, aerospace Industry of Brazil, renowned worldwide for the quality of its products and systems, this agreement allows them to present to Brazil  a product in the field artillery.


Europe Security News.- Airbus Group chief strategy and marketing officer Marwan Lahoud (left) and Safran chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Herteman (right) after meeting with French President Francois Hollande on June 16th, 2014. Photo Credit: Reuters

Europe Security News.- Airbus Group chief strategy and marketing officer Marwan Lahoud (left) and Safran chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Herteman (right) after meeting with French President Francois Hollande on June 16th, 2014. Photo Credit: Reuters

Finally,  Airbus and Safran announced a memorandum of understanding for the construction of Ariane 6, rather than in this task is shared by others; Airbus and Safran say two thirds of the work required in the construction of each Ariane 6.

Pooling together, the two industrial groups  will compete with the Americans, giving new impetus to the European space industry. And without hesitation the French Presidency, is trying to finish with an overly expensive industrial system, prioritizing the new  organization becomes more competitive thus relaunching 40 years of experience and work in the European space sector.

Specifically they  announced the creation of a co-venture with equally percentage between Airbus and Safran, called to be growing through several stages/phases: like unification of the management and stepper absorbing factories.

Recently engineers of Airbus and Safran achieved in only one month the set up of  a different option for Ariane 6 to the hitherto driven by ESA engineers.

We will hear about this process  in Luxembourg in December, place to be for the next ministerial meeting of the ESA.

But beyond these two options, it is essential that Ariane 6 is built; and as noted by all experts in this field, the government of the European space sector will be completely renovated and in that sense  Paris and Berlin will work together in a  common front dragging with them the other european countries. If the path is still complicated, no one could bet a few months ago, and have believed possible a solution of this type.