Guidelines for the development and maintenance of defence industrial competencies in Denmark from 2021

Guidelines for the development and maintenance of defence industrial competencies in Denmark when acquiring defence equipment and defence services from September 2021 provide the framework for actions to support a defence industrial effect in Denmark in relation to Article 346 in the Treaty for the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

The Guidelines for the development and maintenance of defence industrial competences and capabilities when acquiring defence equipment and defence services entered into force on 9. September 2021. 

Read the full administrative guidelines here (pdf)

The Administrative guidelines consist of three parts:

  • Guidelines for the development and maintenance of defence industry competences and capabilities when acquiring defence equipment and defence services
  • Annex 1: Assessment of competition
  • Annex 2: Industrial co-operation.

Essential national security interests

The sovereignty, autonomy and security of Denmark are ultimately the responsibility of the kingdom itself. This presupposes that Denmark has reliable access to required defence equipment in order to comprehend, assess and respond to perceived threats and hostile actions.

In this context, the competences and capabilities of Danish companies play a crucial role in protecting Denmark’s essential national security interests by contributing to the Danish Armed Forces’ operations, maintaining the Danish Armed Forces’ equipment and ensuring that Denmark can act as a credible ally and partner in the context of international peace and security cooperation.

Read the National Defence Industrial Strategy of the Danish Government

The purpose of the new administrative guidlines is to ensure that actions required to protect Denmark’s essential national security interests in relation to the manufacture of or trading in arms, munitions and warfare materiel align with Denmark’s obligations pursuant to EU law, including in particular Article 346 of the TFEU. 

Under the new administrative guidelines, industrial co-operation remains a central tool for maintaining and developing strategical competences in the Danish defence industry to ensure the protection of Denmark’s essential security interests. 

Existing industrial co-operation contracts

Existing industrial co-operation contracts between the Danish Business Authority and foreign obligors continue unaffected, including any signed industrial co-operation contracts awaiting activation. 

For all issues that are not specifically regulated in existing contracts, the Danish Business Authority will administer in accordance with the 2021 guidelines whenever possible.

Context for the 2021 administrative guidelines

In January 2018 Denmark received a formal notice (2017/2187) from the European Commission regarding the Danish administrative guidelines, including the application of these in relation to three specific acquisitions of defence material.  

As part of the dialogue with the European Commission about the case, the Danish Government adopted new administrative guidelines in January 2021. Based on this, the European Commission decided to close the case against Denmark on 9 July 2021. The new administrative guidelines entered into force on 9 September 2021.