On February 7 the Ministry of National Defense sent to the Council of Ministers the final draft of the regulation concerning the procedure for assessing the conditions and criteria of use of the Article 346 of the Treaty. It seems that the Ministry of National Defense has been forced to accept a solution in which it is the Minister of National Defense, the Minister of the Interior or head of the service to decide whether in a given case the above-referenced Article 346 may apply. This is of great relevance to the future of the defense industry in Poland. In the entirely free market, the domestic industry has no big chances when confronted with the European and American giants. We need to remember that in mid-2012, the President ratified a memorandum of cooperation with the United States in the area of the defense industry.
It is very good indeed that the burden of decision-taking whether to apply the Article 346 or not will rest with the Minister of National Defense. The Minister should be naturally interested in the potential of the Polish industry to equip our armed forces, which would certainly strengthen their military and mobilization capabilities.
Of course there are voices that these provisions, if applied frequently by Poland, will bring about retaliatory measures against the Polish producers. This position is aimed to obscure the true picture of the situation. The Polish defense industry does not stand big chances in the European and American markets. Our traditional selling points are Asia, Europe, Arab countries, or potentially Africa.
The Directive is not binding there. In addition, we lost most of those markets in the years 2006-2007, or, at most we are symbolically present there thanks to the old contracts, spare parts, etc. And a notable exception are the supplies of helicopters, manufactured by foreign investors, but, first of all, the deliveries take place as concern sales, and secondly, there is no obstacle to co-ordinate the policy in the area of defense procurement with those who have made the investment with us and produce something.
Despite my highly unfavorable opinion on the overall functioning of the Polish public administration and its potential to take brave decisions, I must mention its one success here. Well, during the conflict with the Patria a major General presented an idea that Rosomak, or rather what – in effect of the war experiences – has been upgraded by the Polish side, represents a work within the meaning of the copyright law. I appreciate brave solutions, and I felt sincere admiration about it. I hope that the same will happen in the negotiation and arbitration battles. I also believe that the same person, as well as others, following this person’s example, will in the future take equally brave decisions on the use of Article 346, for the benefit of the Polish defense industry, of course!