“It is high time that the European Union steps up its game on defence and develops a truly common approach. Member States are used to working together on a country-by-country basis on defence issues, but in the current state of world affairs, we cannot rely solely on this approach. Cooperation has to be strengthened thanks to clear incentives”, said Françoise Grossetête MEP, Chairwoman of the EPP Group Working Group on Economy and Environment, commenting on today’s approval of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) agreed between the Council and the European Parliament.
The EDIDP is the first European programme specifically dedicated to industrial defence projects which will increase cooperation and strengthen the competitiveness of the EU defence industry. €500 million will be allocated to the programme in 2019 and 2020 and could for instance be used to develop drones for military use or a European cyber defence mechanism.
"The all-European defence technological and industrial base, in particular our SMEs, will benefit from this programme in order to strengthen our strategic autonomy. Excellence and innovation will be key to selecting projects”, said Françoise Grossetête.
However, it is only the beginning. From 2021 and onwards, EU defence will receive a big boost of more than €1 billion a year, if the proposal published on the 13th of June is adopted.
“The last proposal on the European Defence Fund for 2021 to 2027 from the Commission adds a real perspective of a common defence for the European Union. The fund will naturally benefit the defence sector, but also the civilian sector”, she concluded.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 219 Members from 28 Member States