The Commission adopted today a European Defence Action Plan with concrete measures to support a strong and innovative European defence industry and defence capability priorities agreed by Member States. By mobilising available EU instruments it will ensure that the European defence industrial base is able to meet Europe's future security needs.
For Europe to be able to deliver on these capability priorities, it must create the conditions for more defence cooperation to maximise the output and the efficiency of defence spending. This should go hand-in-hand with a strong, competitive and innovative defence industrial base, also to the benefit of the broader economy: investments in the defence sector have a significant economic multiplier effect in terms of creation of spin-offs and technology transfers to other sectors, as well as the creation of jobs.
The Commission proposed the following measures: Firstly, a European Defence Fund to fund collaborative research projects and, as a separate element, the joint development of defence capabilities, to be owned by Member States, in priority areas. Secondly, supporting SMEs through fostering investments and providing more cross-border opportunities in defence supply chains. Thirdly ensuring Europe has an open and competitive single market for defence.
The proposed measures will not only enhance Europe's strategic autonomy and strengthen its ability to act with partners, they will also stimulate jobs, growth and innovation across the EU.
The defence industrial sector is not only of strategic importance for Europe's security. With a total turnover of EUR 100 billion per year and 1.4 million highly skilled peopled directly or indirectly employed in Europe, it is also a major contributor to the European economy.
European Defence Action Plan