The European Parliament endorsed today the provisional agreement reached by the co-legislators on the future European Defence Fund (EDF) for the next budget period from 2021 to 2027. The European Commission proposed the European Defence Fund in June 2018. Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said:
"I welcome today's vote by the European Parliament. More defence cooperation in Europe is essential to address the growing global instabilities and cross-border threats to our security. It is clear that no country can do this alone. The endorsement of the European Defence Fund will allow us to significantly step up our defence cooperation and allow Europe to become a stronger security provider for our citizens.
The European Defence Fund marks a big step forward in European defence matters. It will strengthen European cooperation by encouraging joint investments and technological innovation in the defence sector. This will help to spend taxpayer money more efficiently and ensure Europe can benefit from the best interoperable defence technology and equipment. By promoting a strong and innovative defence industry, the Fund will strengthen EU's strategic autonomy and technological leadership in defence.
The Fund will build on defence priorities agreed by Member States within the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and ensure synergies with the Permanent European Structured Cooperation.
With today's vote, a fully-fledged European Defence Fund is now on track to become a reality. I want to thank the European Parliament as well as all other EU institutions on taking fast and decisive action on this key political priority."
In his political guidelines in June 2014, President Juncker made strengthening European citizens' security a priority. He announced the creation of a European Defence Fund in his 2016 State of the Union address. Since then, the Commission with support of the Member States is already paving the way under the current EU budget period. For the first time in European history, the EU is incentivising European defence cooperation with a budget envelope of €590 million until 2020. The Commission presented a first set of actions in June 2017 to allow defence cooperation at EU level to be tested by means of the Preparatory Actions on Defence Research for 2017-2019 and the European Defence Industrial Development Programme for 2019-2020, with the latest actions published in March 2019.
In June 2018 the Commission proposed a fully-fledged European Defence Fund worth €13 billion under the next EU long-term budget to cover defence research as well as the development of joint industrial projects in the field of defence. The budgetary aspects and some related horizontal provisions of the future EU space programme are subject to the overall agreement on the EU's next long-term budget, proposed by the Commission in May 2018.
For More Information
-Press release on the provisional Agreement on European Defence Fund (February 2019)
Press release on latest actions to support defence research and industrial development under current budget (March 2019)