29 April 2021
Today, the European Parliament adopted the European Defence Fund (EDF) for 2021-2021. The Fund will allow the EU to design fully interoperable and innovative defence technologies of high quality more efficiently, at a lower cost and avoid unnecessary duplication between countries. It is estimated that through better coordination, as foreseen, Member States will save between 25 to 100 billion euros per year.
ECR Rapporteur Professor Zdzisław Krasnodębski stressed that countries with less developed defence industries would profit from the fund. It will also boost cooperation on developing an industrial base of those countries and improve their access to advanced technologies thanks to the collaboration with foreign partners. The European Commission will play an important role in the process of selecting projects and managing the Fund. Prof Krasnodębski pointed out that the EDF should not be misinterpreted as a first step towards creating a European army. Neither can the money be used to purchase weapons. “The almost 8 billion Euros of the Fund are earmarked for research and development projects carried out jointly by Member States,” Krasnodębski said.
After the adoption, Mr Krasnodębski said:
“The aim of the Fund is not only to support research and development projects of the European defence industry but also to include new entities in cooperation networks and supply chains, including those that have not been active in this industry until now.
“The EDF will not subsidize bilateral cooperation between countries, as the minimum number of participants in the financed project is at least three entities from at least three Member States.”
Krasnodębski also stressed the ongoing rivalry between China and the United States:
“The European Union should pay more attention to its common defence, and thus increase spending in this area. However, it should be remembered that NATO and strong transatlantic ties remain the basis of European security at all times, and that this will not change soon,” he said.
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