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Militarising Europe: Parliamentary committee report on the €500m Defence Industrial Development Proramme
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The Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the European Parliament (ITRE) has reached a position on the proposal for a Regulation on a European Defence Industrial Development Programme which is now awaiting approval by European Parliament plenary meeting in March. The programme is designed to "foster a competitive, innovative and efficient defence industry throughout the Union" and will run from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020 with a budget of €500 million, if agreed as proposed.

The explanatory statement by the rapporteur (Françoise Grossetête MEP, European People's Party) states:

"Our defence industry is not, at present, given sufficient incentives to compete globally, despite a genuine wealth of technology. It needs ‘more Europe’ to provide more reliable, more independent and less costly technology.

Paradoxically, Europeans’ security needs in an unstable international environment are, in many respects, increasing. And the EU’s singular approach to defence and global security is a guarantee of stability. Cooperation therefore provides essential added value in responding to EU citizens’ need for security and consolidating the EU’s position.

Your rapporteur warmly welcomes, therefore, the Commission’s proposal to establish a European Defence Industrial Development Programme, and considers it essential to implement it successfully from January 2019 in order to secure the prospects for the European defence industry in the period after 2020. To that end, the Council and Parliament should examine this proposal promptly."

Furthermore (emphasis added)

"This Programme should be a means of strengthening EU independence in the area of defence. That strategic autonomy is essential to ensuring that the EU is free to take action worldwide. It can only be enhanced by better cooperation between Member States and undertakings, which must be based on the Member States’ common capability priorities. This will guarantee project viability."

See: European Parliament report on the proposal for a regulation establishing the European Defence Industrial Development Programme aiming at supporting the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the EU defence industry (ITRE Committee, pdf)

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