New EU defense plan aims to boost European military purchases - Bloomberg

Nadiya DanyshchukWorld
The new defense plan of the European Union has been revealed

The European Union plans to make about half of its defense purchases within the bloc by 2035, reversing the trend of purchasing most of its military equipment from third countries. This goal is part of the European Defense and Industrial Strategy of the EU executive, which also includes joint investments, measures to secure critical supplies, and changes in the European Investment Bank's lending policy.

This was reported by Bloomberg, referring to a draft document that the publication has seen. The European Commission is expected to present the defense strategy, which is still subject to change, in the coming weeks.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has exposed the limitations of EU industry and its dependence on other countries for key supplies and defense capabilities. The EU is now trying to increase production capacity and spending after decades of underinvestment.

"Geopolitical developments point to the urgent need for Europe to take greater responsibility for its own security and be prepared to effectively counter the full range of threats it faces. The EU needs to become a stronger player in the security and defense sector, and thus a more capable source of security not only for its citizens but also for the benefit of international peace and security," the draft document says.

The proposals in the new strategy include, in particular:

A minimum acceptable level for joint procurement of defense equipment and a change in trends in the procurement of military systems from non-EU suppliers;

Mechanisms to ensure that critical supplies can be immediately augmented in the event of a shortage or crisis, and prompt identification of critical dependencies on third countries;

Expanding industry access to EU funding programs and establishing new partnerships in defense and security;

A list of flagship projects to focus efforts and resources on.

To coordinate these efforts, it is proposed to create a body called the Defense Industrial Readiness Council. It will control critical products and supply chains.

In addition to Russia's war against Ukraine, EU countries are also facing widespread hybrid threats, including cyberattacks, sabotage, and hacker attacks on critical infrastructure, the draft document says.

According to the strategy, the EU should be able to mass-produce defense equipment such as ammunition and drones. Europe must also protect its access to sea, air, cyber, and outer space.

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