HC Deb 24 February 1987 vol 111 c218W
Mr. Stephen Ross

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on European cooperation on defence procurement.

Mr. Archie Hamilton

Good progress is being made in promoting wider and more systematic European cooperation in defence procurement, the primary forum for which is the Independent European Programme Group. Over the past two years the IEPG has been revitalised and is now establishing a considerable record of achievement. Eleven harmonised operational staff targets have been produced and discussions are under way aimed at establishing joint projects to meet them. Efforts are also being made to promote greater collaboration on defence-related research. Regular meetings at ministerial level are now held and my right hon. Friend looks forward to meeting his IEPG colleagues again in June. Outside the IEPG, regular discussions are held at all levels with our major European collaborative partners.