BRUSSELS --- “We have taken a first and very important step to increase cooperation in the defence industry and strengthen the competitiveness of the EU defence industry by agreeing with the Council to allocate €500 million in 2019 and 2020 to the European Defence Industrial Development Programme,” said Françoise Grossetête MEP, Rapporteur and EPP Group Spokeswoman, after yesterday’s provisional agreement with the Council which still has to be confirmed.
The €500 million will be allocated in 2019 and 2020 for the programme which is a completely new programme aimed at cross-EU country development of EU defence capabilities, for instance drones for military use or a European cyber defence mechanism. The amount should increase to one billion Euros per year from 2021 and, in the future, increased pan-EU cooperation in the big weapons systems - aircraft, battle tanks, and navy ships - could and should be foreseen.
To foster the pan-EU development of defence systems, the requirement should be that a minimum of three companies from three EU countries participate.
“The all-European defence technological and industrial base, in particular our SMEs and mid-caps, will benefit from this programme in order to strengthen our strategic autonomy. Excellence and innovation will be the main drivers”, Françoise Grossetête concluded.