§ Mr. Hill
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will take steps in the Council of Ministers of the Western European Union to bring about a major effort to harmonise national operational requirements for military computer systems and initiate a joint European defence research programme between Western European Union member countries and other Western European countries wishing to take part; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Sainsbury
WEU Ministers are agreed that the appropriate forum for the pursuit of collaboration in defence equipment is the Independent European Programme Group, which comprises all the European members of NATO with the exception of Iceland. The IEPG has active programmes of work on increasing collaboration in defence research, including a number of computer-related programmes; and on the harmonisation 379W of operational requirements, where computers are considered in the context of the weapons systems employing them.