European Defence Agency publishes key figures on Defence R&T spending
16 December 2019, the European Defence Agency (EDA) published a booklet on Defence Data for the years 2017-2018. The results of the analysis show that defence investments have been increasing across EDA Member States, but spending on Defence Research and Technology (R&T) is only recovering slowly from cuts carried out over the last decade. In 2018, Defence R&T expenditure increased again for the second consecutive year, amounting to €2.1 billion, according to the EDA publication. While the share of total defence expenditure dedicated to Defence R&T has increased from 0.8% in 2016 to 0.9% in 2018, Member States do not reach the 2% collective benchmark.
A similar trend is visible for European collaborative defence R&T. Following a historic high in 2008 when EDA Member States spent €453 million on Defence R&T in a European framework, European collaborative Defence R&T expenditure decreased by 66%, reaching €153 million in 2018. The share allocated to European collaborative Defence R&T as a percentage of Total Defence R&T dropped in parallel. In 2018, EDA Member States dedicated 7.3% of Total Defence R&T expenditure to European collaborative Defence R&T projects. When adding the funds under the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR), which allocated €40 million for European collaborative defence research programmes in 2018, this share would reach 9.2%.