Carnegie Europe Summer Academy: Understanding Industry Influence on EU Defense Policy

June 20th 2019 - 17:00

On June 20-21, Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick Bolder, Strategic Analyst at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, participated in Carnegie Europe’s Summer Academy on “Understanding Industry Influence on EU Defense Policy” in Brussels.

The event brought together researchers, journalists, analysts, policymakers, and industry representatives to better understand the drivers of EU defense policy decisions. Thought-provoking presentations and discussions were held about what does, and what doesn’t work in cooperation on defense projects.


Carnegie Europe


One of the current problems in the EU is a lack of leadership: due to Brexit, the UK is completely divided, France has become less institutional and more pragmatic, but is still not completely trusted, and Germany has a lack of ambition to take the lead.

For the first time in its history, the European Union is slated to invest vast public funds in military technologies. On present trends, it will become the fourth largest defense spender in Europe after France, Germany, and the United Kingdom within a decade. While defense is one of the most complex and specialized areas of public policy, its opaque nature means it is also one of the least scrutinized. EU decision-making processes and industry influence in this field are often poorly understood, which in turn feeds skepticism and unease on the part of citizens and taxpayers.

Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick Bolder started his military career after graduating from the Royal Military Academy in Breda as a meteorological officer. In the first years of his career he headed the meteorological departments at Deelen and Volkel Airbase. After graduating at Wageningen University as World Class Meteorologist he served with the staff of the 1st German/Netherlands Corps in Münster, Germany. In 2000 he became a student of the Staffcollege. After graduating in 2001 he was stationed at policy departments at the Airstaff and Defencestaff. Before and during the Netherlands EU Presidency in 2004 he joined the Presidency Taskforce and was responsible for advices to the Headline Goal Task Force and EU Military Committee. Subsequently he was the European Defence Agency - Netherlands Capabilities PoC for the Defence Staff, The Hague. From 2008 to 2010 he was Chief of Defencestaff representative in the interdepartmental Future Policy Survey team (Verkenningen). After a six month deployment in 2012 in the West Bank he was stationed at the Airstaff in Breda, responsible for the IMC-policy, Triple-helix policy and Space policy of the RNLAF. In 2014 he joined the 6 month Senior Course of NATO Defence College, Rome. After graduating he returned to the Airstaff. In 2017 a second 6-month deployment to the West Bank followed, again working for and developing the leadercourse program of the Palestinian Security Services. After returning from this he was stationed again at the Airstaff in the Strategy and Advice branch.