In 2018, Total Defence Expenditure by the 27 EDA MS amounted to €223.4 billion. This accounts for 1.4% of GDP and 3.1% of Total Government Expenditure.
Whereas defence budgets suffered heavily from spending cuts following the 2007/2008 financial crisis, outlays for defence are finally on the rise again since 2014. While expenditures decreased by 11% 2 between 2007 and 2013, MS increased their spending for defence for the fifth consecutive year in 2018 and by 3% compared to 2017 spending levels.
Yet, defence budgets are only slowly returning to pre-financial crisis levels. In contrast to gross domestic product (GDP) 3, defence expenditure by the 27 EDA MS decreased much more dramatically and returned to growth again much slower. Since 2014, defence expenditure is growing again in line with economic growth and in 2018, defence expenditure reached almost a similar level as in 2007.
The European Defence Agency (EDA) collects defence data on an annual basis, and has done so since 2006, in line with the Agency’s Ministerial Steering Board Decision of November 2005.
The Ministries of Defence of the Agency’s 27 Member States (MS) provide the data. EDA acts as the custodian of the data and publishes the aggregated figures in its booklets.
Click here for the full report (12 PDF pages), on the EDA website.