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30 Nov 2016

Commission proposes a European Defence Fund

 

On 30 November 2016 the European Commission proposed a European Defence Fund and other actions to support Member States' more efficient spending in joint defence capabilities, strengthen European citizens' security and foster a competitive and innovative industrial base. The Defence Fund would support investment in joint research and the joint development of defence equipment and technologies. The proposed fund would include two “windows" which are complementary but different in their legal structure and budget sourcing:

A "research window" to fund collaborative research in innovative defence technologies such as electronics, metamaterials, encrypted software or robotics. The Commission has already proposed EUR 25 million for defence research as part of the 2017 EU budget, and expects that this budget allocation could grow to a total of EUR 90 million until 2020. Under the post-2020 EU multiannual financial framework, the Commission intends to propose a dedicated defence research programme with an estimated amount of EUR 500 million per year.

A "capability window" which would act as a financial tool allowing participating Member States to purchase certain assets together to reduce their costs. The capabilities would be agreed by the Member States, who would own the technology and equipment. For example, Member States may jointly invest in drone technology or bulk buy helicopters to reduce costs. As an order of magnitude, this window should be able to mobilise about EUR 5 billion per year. The Commission will launch a scoping study to refine this estimate.

The Commission will present and discuss these proposals, in particular the creation of a European Defence Fund, with all stakeholders. The European Council on 15-16 December will be a key milestone.

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