France’s Minister of Defence Hervé Morin opened the biennial Eurosatory conference in Paris on Monday by calling for European defence industries to come together to tackle the budget cuts facing armed forces across the continent.

Accompanied by GICAT (the French Land Defence Manufacturers Association) and Eurosatory president Christian Mons, Morin said industry should react to budget constraints by building new relationships and developing existing ones.

“The key is that Europeans retain the skills and expertise across the continent. I am committed to making all the necessary discussions in this area because the considerable retraction of European budgets requires us to move in this direction,” he said.

“We need strong industrial players at a European level to build the defence of tomorrow.”

In his speech welcoming the minister, Mons noted that despite the economic climate, Eurosatory had achieved a 10% increase in attendance on the 2008 show.

Eurosatory is currently running at Paris’s Villepinte Exhibition Centre, and is scheduled to finish on 18 June.