The European Commission presented a proposal on Wednesday to strengthen defence, including joint acquisition of military equipment, with €500 million to be allocated over the next two years.
The Commission has proposed the speedy adoption of a proposal for joint procurement so member states can work together on the most urgent needs in defence.
The Commission is prepared to allocate €500 million from the budget over the next two years to help member states to resolve urgent needs for defence investment.
EU member states have neglected investment in defence for years and recently that trend has been changing.
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, member states announced they would increase defence spending by an additional €200 billion in the next few years. EU countries have increased defence spending by 20% between 1999 and 2021, however, that is still not enough and far less than the United States which has increased defence spending by 66%, Russia by 292% and China by 592%.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that defence spending has to strengthen Europe’s defence industry.
We are calling for joint procurement because that is better operationally for the armed forces and better for finances and industry. That will also strengthen our broad network of innovative, small and medium-sized enterprises, von der Leyen said.
“We will set up a taskforce with Member States to coordinate immediate replenishment and procurement needs,” von der Leyen tweeted on Wednesday.