Saturday

17th Apr 2021

EU wants stronger military industry

The European Commission on Tuesday (24 June) laid out plans on how to boost the EU’s military and defence industries.

It wants to create a single market on defence, make it more profitable, and intensify and merge research with the civil sector.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Budget cuts threaten EU defences, says European commission (Photo: Defence Images)

Antonio Tajani, the EU industry commissioner, said greater defence collaboration is needed between member states to enable the EU to "adequately face its security challenges".

Tajani described the plan in terms of helping the EU pull itself out of the economic crisis.

"It is vital that the European defence industry remains a world-leading centre for manufacturing and innovation, creating highly qualified jobs and growth," he said in a statement.

The commission says budget cuts, the crisis, and a fragmented internal market are threats to the industry and the EU's overall defence capabilities.

It notes the sector in 2012 employed 400,000 people and generated a €96 billion turnover.

The 14-page plan wants to expand on 'dual-use technology', in which equipment can be used for both civilian and military objectives.

The EU's €80 billion Horizon 2020 research programme would be used to help fund dual-technology projects.

It also wants to develop a new programme to explore the potential benefits of EU-funded research projects.

Among the ideas is to create drones capable of carrying out both civil and military operations.

It wants the European Defence Agency (EDA) to prepare a "new process for developing defence and hybrid standards in Europe".

The EDA, along with the commission, would be in charge of developing standardisation and certification.

The European Aviation Safety Agency would back the EDA and commission in their efforts to converge a military certification system with the applicable civil requirements.

Another idea is to shift the "control of industrial and technological assets" away from national governments to a new system at the EU level.

Details have yet to be formulated but the commission intends to come out with a paper before the end of the year.

"While defence and security remain primarily a matter of national responsibility, more can be done to promote European co-operation," said the EU's internal market commissioner Michael Barnier.

EU steps up funding for drone research

EU defence firms have received hundreds of millions in EU research grants for work on drones, despite rules against funding of military projects.

Ukraine urges Borrell to visit Russia front line

Ukraine has invited EU foreign relations chief Josep Borrell to visit its front line with Russia, in what one EU diplomat said would be his "best revenge" for his recent humiliation in Moscow.

Polish court pushes out critical ombudsman

The controversial Constitutional Tribunal ruled that legislation, setting out that the ombudsman stays in office until lawmakers pick a new one, was unconstitutional.

News in Brief

  1. EU postpones decision on labelling gas 'sustainable'
  2. MEPs call for mass surveillance ban in EU public spaces
  3. Greek and Turkish ministers trade jibes in Ankara
  4. Biden repeats opposition to Russia-Germany pipeline
  5. Navalny in danger, letter warns EU foreign ministers
  6. Lithuania keen to use Denmark's AstraZeneca vaccines
  7. Gas plants largest source of power-sector emissions
  8. Study: Higher risk of blood clots from Covid than vaccines

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance
  5. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market

Latest News

  1. US rejects Slovenia-linked plan to break up Bosnia
  2. Ukraine urges Borrell to visit Russia front line
  3. Could US sanctions hit Russia vaccine sales to EU?
  4. Polish court pushes out critical ombudsman
  5. Political crises in Romania and Bulgaria amid third wave
  6. Von der Leyen's summer plans undisclosed, after Ukraine snub
  7. Over a million EU citizens back farm-animal cage ban
  8. Three options for West on Putin's Ukraine build-up

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us