The full title of this report, Defence Cooperation in Clusters – Identifying the Next Steps, reflects the continuation of an ongoing process of small groups of countries deepening the cooperation between their armed forces. This report is also a follow-up to the Clingendael Report of May 2013 on ‘Bold Steps in Multinational Cooperation: Taking European Defence Forward’. The Benelux and German-Netherlands defence cooperation have advanced considerably in recent years. The ‘next steps’ to be taken involve three major issues: the political and parliamentary dimension; planning requirements; and the role of the EU/EDA and NATO as facilitators and coordinators. The report is based on a seminar that was held on 15-16 October 2014 in The Hague.
Participants at the seminar came from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany plus representatives from the European Defence Agency and think tanks. The report formulates a range of conclusions and recommendations in order to move from the identification to the implementation of the next steps in cluster defence cooperation.