Defence Commission

Following its study on the evolution of aerospace industries (« Évolution des industries aérospatiales ») which had underlined the importance of the defence sector, the Academy set up in May 2002 a “Defence” Commission.

This Defence Commission is conducting reflections on aspects of European States’ security and defence where air and space-based components play a significant role. The Defence Commission produces in-depth dossiers on topics that it has selected or draft “Opinion” papers that are submitted for formal approval by the Academy in plenary session and widely distributed. The “Defence” commission draws up in-depth dossiers on the subjects it selects or the draft opinions of the Academy intended to be approved in plenary session and to be widely disseminated.

The Defence Commission reports to Section 2 of the Academy but includes representation from each of the other sections. Every Section is therefore invited to designate its representative, or representatives, in this commission. Each section is therefore invited to designate its representative(s) in this committee.

The President of the commission encourages European Academy members and correspondents to participate in the activities of the Defence Commission. The President may also invite other European or French personalities from outside the Air and Space Academy to participate in its activities.

The “Defence” Commission establishes a provisional timetable for its work and reports regularly on its activities to the Bureau and the General Assembly on the progress of its activities. The Defence Commission develops a tentative schedule of its activities and reports on a regular basis to the Board and to the General Assembly. If needed, the Board and the General Assembly may give the Defence Commission their directives as to the priorities among its reflections.

The President of the Defence Commission is designated by the Board of the Academy.

Since its creation in 2002, numerous topics have been addressed by the Defence Commission, leading to the publication of Dossiers or Opinion papers which have been widely distributed to the relevant authorities of European States and of the European Union:

  • Anti-Ballistic Missile Defence. The Academy’s dossier No. 23, published in 2004, is based on these reflections: “The Ballistic threat, what policy for France and Europe?”
  • The reflections of the Defence Commission led to the publication of Dossier No. 23 in 2004: « The Ballistic Threat, what should be the policy for France and Europe? ». The outcome of these reflections was published as Section VII of Dossier No. 27, published in 2006: « Space; A European Vision ».
  • Space serving Defence, a reflection conducted jointly with the Space Commission of the Academy and the working group Space & Defence of the International Affairs Commission of the “Association Aéronautique et Astronautique de France” (3AF). The outcome of these reflections was published as Section VII of Dossier No. 27, published in 2006: « Space; A European Vision ».
  • The rapid development of UAVs and their impact in the field of security and defence, which led to Dossier No. 25, published in 2004: « The UAV Revolution ».
  • Security in Outer Space, which led to Dossier No. 31, published in 2008: « For a European Approach to Security in Space ».
  • Space serving Defence, a reflection conducted jointly with the Space Commission of the Academy and the working group Space & Defence of the International Affairs Commission of the “Association Aéronautique et Astronautique de France” (3AF). The outcome of these reflections was published as Section VII of Dossier No. 27, published in 2006: « Space; A European Vision ». The strategic value and the security aspects of the European global satellite navigation system GALILEO, which are addressed in a book produced jointly by Air and Space Academy, the French “Académie de marine” and the “Bureau des longitudes” : « A Positioning system, Galileo, Strategic, scientific and technical stakes », English language version published in 2005 of the original book published in French by the Bureau des longitudes in 2003.
  • Security in Outer Space, which led to Dossier No. 31, published in 2008: « For a European Approach to Security in Space ».
  • The Future of European combat aircraft, which led to a first document published in 2011: “What future for the European Combat Aircraft Industry? A Death Foretold?”, which was widely distributed in Europe. Following this first document, the Defence Commission organized an international conference in May 2013 in Paris and developed an Opinion Paper, Opinion No. 5, entitled “Recommendations to avoid a strategic downgrading of Europe in the field of combat aviation following a European Forum organized in Paris on May 16th, 2013”.
  • The strengthening of the role of the European Defence Agency (EDA), which led to the publication in 2015 of Opinion No. 6: “Enabling the European Defence Agency to play its role to the fullest”. European cooperation in the deployment of space systems supporting security and defence. The Defence Commission’s reflections resulted in the publication in 2018 of Dossier No. 43: “Space systems supporting Security and Defence, a new European approach”.

The Defence Commission is following closely the recent initiatives of the European Union in the fields of security and defence, particularly notable since 2016, and maintains active links with the European Commission, the European Defence Agency and the European Parliament.

Documents and Medias

Find all the documents and media published by the Commission.

Members of the Commission

To see the composition of the Commission