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Two recent publications on the UK
about its role in Europe and its defence industry



Description: Description: IFRI_thd_couvukeu.jpgVivien Pertusot, “In Europe, Not Ruled by Europe: Tough Love between Britain and the EU”, Note de l’Ifri, March 2013

In a new study published by the French Institute for International Relations (Ifri), Vivien Pertusot, head of Ifri’s office in Brussels, argues that a potential “Brexit”, the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, has become a genuine possibility. He aims at better understanding the underlying reasons driving the debate as well as potential scenarios on how the situation could develop. “The gap is widening between the UK and the EU and that balance was sustainable as long as the EU had little prerogatives on economic, fiscal, and monetary policies”, Pertusot says. “Today, the more the Eurozone countries, and most others, get closer together, the more that balance is strained.” The study explores three scenarios: Britain remaining a full member, Britain becoming an associate member, and Britain leaving the EU. The UK debate is interesting for the future of Europe, because it could act as the incubator which spreads such ideas to other parts of the Union.

Download the report and its executive summary. You can also watch a video presentation.


Description: Description: IFRI_thd_capturecouvertureDefenceReform.jpgJohn Louth, “Defence Reform in the UK: A Twenty-First Century Paradox”, Focus stratégique No. 43, March 2013

The context of budgetary constraint offered a strong incentive for the 2010 Coalition Government to improve its management of defence equipment. Before that, the previous Labour governments already focused on “smart acquisition” so that the procurement process could reach a trade-off between military performance, the R&D costs and the purchase value. Thus, several “smart acquisition” reforms aimed at importing private sector skills and behaviours into the defence public domain. By building its logic around public-private partnership (PPP), “smart acquisition” can be apprehended as an interlocking of three factors: organisation, the high level of process and body of knowledge, and the people who promoted and enacted its processes, behaviours and objectives. Due to organisational confusion, ineffective project management and unclear objectives, successive UK governments have failed to manage operational and financial risks, cost overruns and diseconomies. As John Louth says, “Defence – and the acquisition of defence capabilities from myriad partners and providers – is a far from simple practice where a readiness to tolerate both uncertainty and failure is not just desirable but essential”.

Download the report.


Also by Ifri on the UK:

Charlotte Trébuchet, “The electricity power mix in the UK”, Note de l’Ifri, November 2012. Download the report.



Next event: Brussels Think Tank Dialogue - April 22, 2013, Brussels

For the fourth time, ten think tanks join forces to tackle some EU challenges: energy policy, growth, and EU's place in the world. Think tank representatives, including Ifri, will make recommendations and will confront their views with practitioners.

Special guests: Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission and Thierry de Montbrial, Founder and President of Ifri.

More information and registration online.



All publications are available at: www.ifri.org


Description: cid:8A34AF1DA3992FDC25573F971A33356E@eurifri.be Description: cid:E3403618135A8BFCD83F3CEEC6E3D18A@eurifri.be


Contact Ifri Brussels: Eva Vaudolon, +32 (0)2 238 5110, vaudolon@ifri.org



We observe the law of December 8th 1992 on the protection of privacy.

If you want to see, change or remove your personal details, please send an e-mail to bruxelles@ifri.org


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