“We have won the battle to secure a common and strong European Defence Fund for the future and this despite obstacles set up by ideological opponents. The EPP Group was the first supporter of the fund and I am confident that the adoption will mean a huge step forward for our European defence industry”, said Françoise Grossetête MEP, EPP Group Spokeswoman, after the final adoption in Plenary of the deal struck on the European Defence Fund (EDF).
“This fund should be a tool for more European integration and cooperation. It is also an answer to new challenges that are emerging like cyber threats, and a way to improve our efficiency by avoiding duplication and generating research and innovation in the defence area”, Françoise Grossetête continued.
The plan is for the European Defence Fund to get a budget of €13 billion in the next long-term EU budget (MFF) for 2021-2027 to finance collaborative defence research and development projects.
“And I must stress that competitiveness and excellence should drive this fund to improve European strategic autonomy”, Grossetête concluded.
According to figures from the European Commission, a lack of cooperation between Member States in the field of security and defence is estimated to cost between €25 billion and €100 billion per year. Moreover, the bulk of defence procurement - around 80 per cent - is done at national level, which implies costly duplication of military capabilities across the Member States. The European Defence Fund will lead to a strengthened cross-country cooperation in the defence industry field with the aim of avoiding duplication and cutting development costs.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 216 Members from 28 Member States