• 21/04/2024 01:22

Von der Leyen unveils EU industrial defense strategy based on joint procurement

The President of the European Commission notes that by bringing countries together to order weapons, the EU will send a “strong signal” to the private sector and stimulate domestic production.

Von der Leyen presented the EU industrial defense strategy based on >President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in the European Parliament, 28 February 2024 </p>
<p>The head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen presented in the European Parliament her future European Industrial Defense Strategy, which will focus on joint procurement.</p>
<p> write Euronews.</p>
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<p>By <b>bringing countries together to order weapons, ammunition and other military equipment</b>, the EU would send a “strong signal” to the private sector and stimulate domestic production, she said. </p>
<p>“This means turbocharging our defense industrial potential in the next five years,” the European official emphasized.</p>
<p>The bloc has resorted to joint procurement to cope with the most acute crises of recent years. For example, the European Commission organized the <b>purchase of coronavirus vaccines</b> to prevent the 27 member states from competing with each other. A similar scheme was used to <b>purchase non-Russian gas after the energy crisis</b>.</p>
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<p>The industrial defense strategy will follow this template, von der Leyen explained, and will also direct EU funds to the most effective projects.</p>
<p>The publication notes that now the use of EU funds is strictly limited to industrial, research and innovation purposes, since the agreements prohibit financing operations of a military or defensive nature from the general budget. Therefore, the bloc supplies weapons to Ukraine through an off-budget instrument called the European Peace Facility (EPF), which partially reimburses the cost of donations. The EPF has been dormant for months due to a prolonged Hungarian veto and domestic reforms.</p>
<p>Legal debate on the issue has now moved to the European Investment Bank (EIB). Its new president, Nadezhda Calvino, has promised to increase stimulation of the bloc's defense industry. However, the bank's current rules limit funding to dual-use technologies that also have civilian applications. Artillery shells, for example, will be excluded.</p>
<p>Von der Leyen supported Calvino's call, arguing that “the defense industry in Europe needs access to capital,” especially from small and medium-sized companies. </p>
<p>“I would like us to think more broadly. In the end, this is about Europe taking responsibility for its own security,” she said.</p>
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<li>The President of the European Commission also proposed redirecting proceeds from the frozen assets of the Russian Central Bank to purchase weapons for Ukraine . </li>
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