On Wednesday evening the Institute for European Studies (IES) in Brussels had invited to a policy forum titled “Future Airpower: Benelux Air cooperation in a European context”. A full plenum of invited guests as well as students from the Vrije Universiteit Brussels followed a distinguished set of guests discussing the future of BENELUX force generation.
During the first part of the meeting, experts from the Netherlands and Belgium discussed the visions of future airpower in an environment of financial austerity and instability in the European neighborhood.
During the second part Lieutenant General Alexander Schnitger, Commander of the Royal Netherlands Air Force and Lieutenant General Claude Van de Voorde, Belgian Air Component Commander, exposed their intent for the next couple of years.
Both commanders mentioned several times the EATC in Eindhoven as good example for a fruitful European cooperation beyond the limits of the Benelux and underlined their intent to take the EATC as a basis for future cooperation in other domains, e.g. to possibly set up a European Helicopter Command on a longterm basis.
Words: Pascal Ballinger
Picture: Norbert Thomas