From the NATO Parliamentary Assembly: Defence budgets worldwide have taken a knock as a consequence of the global financial crisis. But as the world’s economies start to show signs of recovery, a “big disparity” is emerging between the EU and North America. This may place a strain on the North Atlantic Alliance, according to Senior Defence Economist at NATO HQ, Dr Adrian Kendry.

In a presentation given to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on Sunday, Dr Kendry explained that defence research and development levels in Europe are far below those in the US and Canada. He added that the emphasis on domestic defence investment, a natural response to the current economic conditions, was “good for the local economy but not the best use of funds”. “We have to think about collaborative defence expenditure” he added, speaking to the Assembly’s Economics and Security Committee.

The Canadian parliamentarian Leon Benoit added that, if European defence budgets are proportionately 40% lower than in the US, the ‘effectiveness’ of this investment was only 20% in Europe as that achieved by the Americans due to the fragmentation of European Defence Markets. “We cannot continue with the way things are now” he said in reference to this disparity in the contributions to security by the different NATO members. (photo: NATO), (via