European Commission offers $525M budgetary support for joint military projects
New plan seeks to address shortfalls in military procurements, boost autonomy of European defense industry
The European Commission on Wednesday presented a new plan to coordinate and modernize the bloc’s military spending, including €500 million ($525 million) budgetary support for joint military procurements.
The proposal seeks to address the shortfalls in the fractured military procurements of the 27 EU member states and to boost the autonomy of the European defense industry.
Speaking at a news conference, Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s executive vice-president, welcomed the decision of EU member states to increase their military spending by an additional €200 billion ($210 billion) in the upcoming years in response to the Russian war on Ukraine.
She also explained that the bloc only increased its defense budget by 20% between 1999 and 2021, while the US and Russia boosted military spending by 66% and 292% respectively.
“Spending is not the only answer. We have a problem of deep fragmentation and efficiency in Europe,” Vestager asserted.
She said the bloc should “prioritize investment” and the member states “should coordinate” with each other.
The new action plan calls for the immediate establishment of a Defense Joint Procurement Task Force that will coordinate demand and procurement of the EU countries in order to avoid overlapping orders and to ensure more solidarity.
The European Commission also proposed to support joint procurements with €500 million ($525 million) in the next two years.
In the long run, the EU executive body aims to set up a joint European Defense Capacity Consortia for joint procurements and defense planning programs.