The European Commission has formally initiated work with member states to finance joint industrial projects in the field of defence.
In a few weeks, following the views of member states, the Commission will adopt the work programme and launch calls for proposals for the European Defence Industrial Development Programme under the EU budget for 2019-2020.
This will help pave the way for the future European Defence Fund for the period 2021-2027. Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Vice President Jyrki Katainen said: “Defence co-operation in Europe helps member states spend taxpayer money more efficiently, reduce duplications in spending, and get better value for money.
“Defence co-operation promotes a strong and innovative defence industry and raises the EU’s autonomy and technological leadership in defence. Unthinkable only a few years ago, defence co-operation is becoming a reality today.”
Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska added: “To protect our citizens, Europe needs cutting-edge, interoperable defence technology and equipment in novel areas like artificial intelligence, encrypted software, drone technology or satellite communication. Thanks to the European Defence Fund, we are making this happen. We are ensuring Europe becomes a stronger security provider.”
In a world of increasing instability and cross-border threats to our security, no country can succeed alone. That is why the Juncker Commission is making an unprecedented effort to protect and defend Europeans. It has already taken first steps to boost cooperation between member states in the field of defence research and defence industry development, with more to follow in 2019-2020. In June 2018, the Commission also proposed a fully-fledged €13 billion European Defence Fund for 2021-2027, which is now under discussion by the European Parliament and Council. A readout of the College meeting, delivered by Vice-President Katainen, is broadcast on EbS.