EU institution news

Sustainable finance: Commission launches targeted consultation on new guidelines for company reporting on climate-related information | EU Commission Pres

As part of its Sustainable Finance Action Plan, the Commission launched a targeted consultation with the objective to finalise new guidelines for company reporting on climate-related information.

This consultation proposes ways to assess how climate change can impact the financial performance of companies, as well as how companies can have positive and negative impacts on the climate. It builds on the report published in January by the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, and stakeholders’ responses to the call for feedback on that report. Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: “Company reporting of climate information has improved in recent years, and some European companies are world leaders in this field. But the scale and urgency of the climate crisis means that we rapidly need more companies to disclose more comprehensive and more comparable information. The success of the Commission’s Sustainable Finance Action depends amongst other things on companies being more transparent about their impact on the climate and on the business risks and opportunities that climate change creates. I strongly encourage companies and other organisations to respond to this consultation, to help us make these guidelines as impactful as possible.” Once finalised, the new guidelines on climate reporting will supplement the existing guidelines on non-financial reporting that the Commission published in 2017. They are intended for use by companies that fall under the scope of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive, which means large listed companies, banks and insurance companies, with more than 500 employees. The Commission intends to publish the final version of the guidelines by the end of June. Stakeholders are invited to  respond to the consultation available here.

European Border and Coast Guard: Council agrees negotiating position | EU Council Press

The EU is working to improve the protection of its external borders, as part of its comprehensive approach to migration.

Today, EU ambassadors agreed the Council’s negotiating position on a regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard. On the basis of this mandate, the Romanian Presidency of the Council will start negotiations with the European Parliament.

“Today’s agreed mandate on the new Frontex rules is another step on the road towards more efficient control of the EU’s external borders. A stronger agency will provide us with new tools to face any current and future challenges to the Schengen area. We will now start negotiations with the European Parliament with the aim of reaching an agreement as soon as possible”.

Carmen Daniela Dan, Romanian minister of internal affairs

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) is being strengthened in terms of staff and technical equipment. It is also being given a broader mandate to support member states’ activities on border protection, return and cooperation with third countries. The proposed new rules will incorporate the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) into the Frontex framework, to improve its functioning.

Standing corps of border and coast guards and return experts

To ensure a coherent management of the external borders and to be able to respond to situations of crisis a standing corps will be set up, with up to 10 000 operational staff by 2027. This standing corps will be composed of operational staff members from Frontex and from the member states under long or short time secondments.

Deployments of the standing corps will take place as of 1 January 2021. To be able to adapt to future situations and capabilities, 30 months after this, the European Commission will carry out a mid-term review on the overall number and composition of the standing corps. By March 2024, and following the discussion of the review by the Council and the European Parliament, the Commission will present proposals to confirm or amend the number, composition and member states’ contributions to the corps.

Member states will retain primary responsibility for the management of their borders, with the agency and its staff providing technical and operational assistance subject to the agreement of the member states concerned. Under the proposed new rules, staff of the standing corps deployed to a member state will be able to exercise some executive powers to carry out border controls or return tasks, always subject to the authorisation of the host member state, including the use of force and weapons.

Returns and cooperation with third countries

The Council already agreed a partial negotiating position on the provisions related to the enhanced role of Frontex in return and cooperation with third countries in December 2018.

Background

On 12 September 2018, the Commission proposed an updated mandate for the European Border and Coast Guard, with the aim of further improving the control of the EU’s external borders.

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MEPs urge the EU to lead the way to net-zero emissions by 2050 | EU Parliament Press

  • Net-zero strategy for 2050 means speeding up emissions reduction by 2030
  • Transition is also an opportunity for industry, jobs and growth
  • At least 35 % of EU research expenditure should support climate objectives

Environment and Industry Committee MEPs outlined their ideas on the EU’s long-term emissions reduction strategy.

Environment Committee MEPs said on Wednesday that only two of the eight scenarios (“pathways”) proposed by the European Commission in its November communication would enable the EU to reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, the commitment made by the EU under the Paris climate agreement. They support the Commission in pushing for these two scenarios.

More ambitious targets

Reaching this goal in the most cost-efficient manner requires raising the 2030 emission reduction target from 40% to 55% compared to 1990 levels. They call on EU leaders to support raising the level of ambition at the EU summit in Sibiu in May 2019, ahead of the UN climate summit in September.

The EU’s net-zero strategy should prioritise direct emissions reductions and enhancing natural carbon sinks and reservoirs (such as forests). Carbon removal technologies, that have yet to be deployed on a large scale, should be used only where no direct emission reduction options are available.

Energy and industry policies

In a separate text adopted on Tuesday, Industry Committee MEPs believe that renewable energy and energy efficiency are key to achieving the transition towards a net-zero GHG economy. EU leadership in these areas would demonstrate to the world that clean energy transition is both possible and beneficial. They also underline that efforts to achieve climate neutrality may be spread unevenly across the EU, as member states have different starting points.

Investing in circular and bio-economy

MEPs consider that the transition towards a net-zero GHG economy also presents significant opportunities. Investment in industrial innovation, including digital technologies and clean technology, is needed to improve growth, competitiveness and create jobs e.g. in a growing circular economy and bio-economy. MEPs also underline the importance of having a predictable energy and climate policy for investors, so that they can make long-term investment decisions.

Finally, MEPs reiterate the Parliament’s position to allocate at least 35 % of the expenditure on research (Horizon Europe) to support climate objectives.

Next steps

The Environment Committee resolution was adopted with 49 votes to 6, and 6 abstentions. The text from the Industry Committee was adopted with 47 votes to 4 and 6 abstentions. Both will be put to a vote by the full House during the 11-14 March plenary session in Strasbourg.

Background

Parties to the Paris Agreement are invited to communicate, by 2020, their mid-century, long-term low GHG emission development strategies. In the Communication “A Clean Planet for all” adopted on 28 November 2018, the Commission presented its strategic, long-term vision for a climate-neutral economy by 2050, including eight possible pathways.

The Communication presents options, allowing for a thorough debate on the way forward to 2050. This debate should allow the EU to adopt and submit an ambitious strategy by 2020 to the UNFCCC as well as set the direction of the EU’s future climate and energy policy.

Safer roads: More life-saving technology to be mandatory in vehicles | EU Parliament Press

  • Cars, vans, trucks and buses will have to be equipped with advanced safety features
  • Vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, to be better protected
  • 300 people died on EU roads in 2017 and 135.000 were seriously injured

Safety features such as intelligent speed assistance, advanced emergency-braking system and emergency stop signal will have to be installed in new vehicles.

In a drive to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on EU roads, Internal Market Committee MEPs approved on Thursday a set of rules to make several advanced safety features standard equipment in different categories of vehicles sold in the EU market. The proposal adapts the current rules to the changes in mobility behaviour resulting from societal trends (e.g. more cyclists and pedestrians, an aging society) and technological developments.

The advanced safety features which will become mandatory in all vehicles are:

  • intelligent speed assistance;
  • alcohol interlock installation facilitation (i.e. a standardised interface facilitating aftermarket alcohol interlock devices being fitted in vehicles);
  • driver drowsiness and attention warning;
  • advanced driver distraction warning;
  • emergency stop signal;
  • reversing detection;
  • accident data recorder, added by MEPs (under the Commission proposal only cars and vans would have to be equipped with it).

An advanced emergency-braking system and a lane-departure warning system, both of which are already compulsory for trucks and buses under the current General Vehicle Safety Regulation, will be required for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles as well.

The draft law extends the scope of the currently applicable requirement to fit passenger cars with a tyre pressure monitoring system to cover all vehicle categories. Vans and SUVs will, in addition, no longer be exempt from various safety features which until now have only been required for ordinary passenger cars.

Manufacturers must ensure that these systems and features are developed in such a way so as to ensure that users accept them and that motor vehicles’ user instructions contain clear and comprehensive information on how they function, MEPs stress. The Internal Market Committee also included requirements to protect vehicles against cyberattacks.

MEPs amended the proposal to make sure that accident data recorders operate on a “closed loop system”, whereby the data stored is overwritten, and which does not allow the vehicle or driver to be identified (data collected will be anonymised).

Specific requirements for trucks and buses

Trucks and buses must be designed and built to make vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, more visible to the driver (so-called “direct vision”). According to MEPs, “this requirement shall remove the blind spots in front of the driver’s seat and significantly reduce the blind spots through the side windows”. Specificities of different types of vehicles must be taken into account, they add.

For hydrogen-powered vehicles, the new requirements relate mainly to the standards for materials and components used in these vehicles, as well as to test procedures.

Automated vehicles

The proposed measures also pave the way to automated vehicles (where driver intervention is still expected or required) and fully automated vehicles (without any human supervision). Making advanced safety features mandatory for vehicles should help drivers to gradually get accustomed to the new features and should enhance public trust and acceptance in the transition toward autonomous driving.

Quote from the rapporteur

Róża Thun (EPP, PL), who is steering this legislation through Parliament, said: “Safety of road users, especially unprotected ones, is our focus. This regulation deals in the most direct sense with life and death. We concentrated all our efforts on saving lives and mitigating injuries. The additional obligatory equipment for cars, trucks and buses will save human lives. I am very proud of the European Parliament; despite all our differences, the members supported this ambitious proposal.”

Next steps

The amended proposal was approved in committee by 33 votes to two, with no abstentions. The mandate to start negotiations with Council, endorsed by 31 votes to three, with no abstentions, is due to get the full House’s green light in the 11-14 March plenary session.

The implementation dates for the different safety requirements are specified in Annex II of the proposed regulation, which was also amended by MEPs to speed up their application.

Once approved, this legislation will replace the current General Vehicle Safety Regulation, the Pedestrian Protection Regulation and the Hydrogen-Powered Motor Vehicles Regulation.

EU measures in support of generic pharmaceuticals producers | EU Council Press

The EU is adopting new rules which should boost the competitiveness of EU producers of generic medicines and biosimilar products.

Member states’ ambassadors meeting today in Coreper endorsed a deal reached on 14 February with the European Parliament on a draft regulation which introduces an exception to the protection granted to an original medicine by a supplementary protection certificate (SPC) for export purposes and/or for stockpiling.

Thanks to the exception, EU-based manufacturers of generics and biosimilars will be entitled to manufacture a generic or biosimilar version of an SPC-protected medicine during the term of the SPC either for the purpose of exporting to a non-EU market where protection has expired or never existed or (during the six months before the SPC expires) for the purpose of creating a stock that will be put on the EU market after the SPC has expired.

SPCs are intellectual property rights that extend patent protection (for up to five years) for medicinal products that must undergo lengthy testing and clinical trials before being authorised to be placed on the EU market. The aim of SPCs is to avoid that the term of patent protection would in actuality be curtailed by the period that elapses between the date of filing of the patent application and the date of the authorisation to place the product on the market in the EU.

The regulation will remove the competitive disadvantages faced by EU-based manufacturers of generics and biosimilars vis-à-vis manufacturers established outside the EU in global markets.

The exception will operate only where:

  • generics or biosimilars are produced exclusively for export to third countries where protection of the original medicine does not exist or has expired or for stockpiling purposes during the last six months of the validity of the SPC;
  • the maker has provided the information required by the regulation to both the authorities of the member state of production and to the holder of the SPC at least three months in advance;
  • the maker has duly informed all those involved in the commercialisation of the product;
  • the maker has affixed to the packaging of the product the specific logo provided for by the regulation indicating clearly that it is only for export.

Until a set date (three years from the entry into force of the regulation), the regulation will affect only SPCs that are applied for on or after the date of entry into force of the regulation. From then on, the regulation will also affect SPCs applied for before the entry into force of the regulation, but which have become effective after the entry into force of the regulation.

Next steps

The agreed text, following the usual legal/linguistic scrutiny, will be submitted for formal adoption to the European Parliament and the Council.

Background

The EU harmonised SPC system was introduced in 1992. It sought to compensate for the loss of effective patent protection due to the time required in order to obtain marketing authorisation (including research and clinical trials).

Global demand for medicines has increased massively (reaching €1.1 trillion in 2017). Alongside this, there is a shift towards an ever-greater market share for generics and biosimilars. Assuming an annual growth rate of 6.9%, by 2020 generics and biosimilars will represent 80% of all medicines by volume, and about 28% by value.

With the expiry of industrial property protection, over €90 billion of the first generation of blockbuster biologics will become open to biosimilar competition by 2020.

The draft regulation should contribute to Europe’s competitiveness as a hub for pharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing. It will help new pharmaceutical companies start up and scale up in high growth areas, and is projected to generate, over the next 10 years, additional net annual export sales of well in excess of EUR 1 billion, which could translate into 20 000 to 25 000 new jobs over that period.

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Increased transparency in doing business through online platforms | EU Council Press

The EU is introducing new rules offering businesses a more transparent, fair and predictable online platform environment, as well as an efficient system for seeking redress.

Member states’ ambassadors meeting in Coreper today endorsed the provisional agreement reached on 13 February with the European Parliament on a draft regulation that addresses relations between online platforms and businesses that conduct their business through them.

“These new rules will create the predictability which is necessary for EU businesses if they want to reap the full benefits of the platform economy. This is a very important step towards the completion of the EU digital single market. Transparency is key”.

Niculae BĂDĂLĂU, Romanian Minister of economy

The main goal of the regulation is to establish a legal framework that guarantees transparent terms and conditions for business users of online platforms, as well as effective possibilities for redress when these terms and conditions are not respected by online platforms.

The online platforms covered by the regulation include online market places, online software application stores and/or online social media, as well as online search engines, irrespective of their place of establishment, provided they serve business users that are established within the EU and that they offer goods or services to consumers who are also located within the EU.

As regards transparency, platforms are required to use plain and intelligible terms and conditions for the provision of their online intermediation services. They should provide a statement of reasons each time they decide to restrict, suspend or terminate the use of their services by a business user. Furthermore, platforms should disclose publicly the main parameters determining the ranking of business users in search results, as well as any differentiated treatment that they grant to goods and/or services offered directly by them or through any business falling under their remit. They should also disclose the description of the main economic, commercial or legal considerations for restricting the ability of business users to offer different conditions to consumers outside the platform.

Concerning redress mechanisms, the regulation obliges all platforms (apart from the smallest, as clearly defined in the regulation) to set up an efficient and swift internal complaint-handling system and to report annually on its effectiveness. It also requires platforms to list in their terms and conditions two or more mediators for cases when the internal complaint-handling system is not able to resolve a dispute between their business users. The regulation establishes the right of representative organisations, associations or public bodies to initiate judicial proceedings against platforms that do not comply with the requirements of the regulation. Finally, the regulation empowers Member States to set out penalties in line with their national systems  when there are infringements of the regulation.  The Commission is invited to:

  • encourage platforms to set up bodies of independent specialised mediators,
  • draw up codes of conduct and
  • regularly assess the functioning of the new rules.

The regulation shall apply twelve months from the date of its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

Next steps

The agreed text, following the usual legal-linguistic scrutiny, will be submitted for formal adoption by the European Parliament and the Council shortly.

Background

Online platforms are key enablers of digital trade. At present, more than a million EU businesses trade through online platforms in order to reach their customers, and it is estimated that around 60% of private consumption and 30% of public consumption of goods and services related to the total digital economy are transacted via online intermediaries.

While offering great potential in terms of efficient access to (cross-border) markets, European businesses cannot fully exploit the potential of the online platform economy due to a number of potentially harmful trading practices and a lack of effective redress mechanisms in the Union. At the same time, online service providers face difficulties operating across the single market due to emerging fragmentation.

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Financial markets: European Commission and Monetary Authority of Singapore announce common approach on derivatives trading venues | EU Commission Press

The European Commission and the Monetary Authority of Singapore today announced a common approach for EU and Singapore derivatives trading venues.

This will ensure that EU counterparties can continue to trade the most liquid derivatives instruments on Singaporean platforms, in compliance with the trading obligation under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR) and in line with the G20 reforms for standardised derivatives to be traded on trading platforms. Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union said: “The European Union remains open for business. Our announcement confirms how global cooperation can bring tangible benefits to EU market participants. European firms will be able to continue trading interest rate and credit default derivatives on Singapore’s trading platforms, and engaging with local counterparts in Asia, while Singaporean firms will be able to use EU platforms. This will facilitate trade and economic exchanges between the EU and Singapore. I want to thank Deputy Prime Minister Shanmugaratnam and his team for working with us towards this mutually beneficial outcome.” Vice-President Dombrovskis intends to propose to the Commission the adoption of an equivalence decision to recognise a list of organised markets established in Singapore, operated by an approved exchange or a recognised market operator, as platforms eligible for the execution of derivatives subject to the EU “on venue” trading obligation, provided the requirements of MiFIR are met. Before the Commission can adopt such an equivalence decision, it first has to consult Member States. At the same time, the Monetary Authority of Singapore intends to propose the adoption of regulations to exempt the EU’s Multilateral Trading Facilities and Organised Trading Facilities from the requirements in Singapore. See joint statement here.

Commission extends dedicated post-programme framework for Greece | EU Commission Press

The Commission has adopted a decision to extend the enhanced surveillance framework for Greece by six months, as provided for under Regulation (EU) No 472/2013 (part of the so-called “two-pack”).

This extension is part of the normal and expected process that serves to ensure continued support for the completion, delivery and implementation of reforms agreed under Greece’s stability support programme, in line with the commitments made by the Greek authorities. The implementation of these reforms is crucial to further strengthening Greece’s economic recovery following the successful conclusion of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) stability support programme in August 2018. At the end of the programme, Greece started its normalisation process by becoming subject to the enhanced surveillance framework for an initial six month period. The first enhanced surveillance report was published in November 2018. The second report will be published on 27 February 2018. More information on the enhanced surveillance framework for Greece is available here.

COLLEGE MEETING: European Commission takes stock of the progress made on Brexit “no-deal” contingency legislation | EU Commission Press

The College of Commissioners was today briefed by the Secretary-General and discussed the progress made on the Commission’s contingency proposals for the undesirable but possible situation of a “no deal” Brexit.

To date, the Commission has tabled 19 legislative proposals, on which good progress has been made in the European Parliament and the Council. 7 proposals have been adopted or agreed by the Parliament and the Council. 12 proposals are still to be finalised by the co-legislators, and are advancing well. In addition to this, several non-legislative acts have been adopted, including 10 delegated acts, 6 implementing acts, as well as 3 Commission decisions. All texts are available here. As outlined in the Commission’s previous Brexit Preparedness Communications, the EU’s contingency measures will not – and cannot – mitigate the overall impact of a “no-deal” scenario, nor do they in any way compensate for the lack of preparedness or replicate the full benefits of EU membership or the favourable terms of any transition period, as provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement. These proposals are temporary in nature, limited in scope and will be adopted unilaterally by the EU. They are not “mini-deals” and have not been negotiated with the UK. In addition to this legislative work, the Commission has also intensified its work on proactively informing the public about the importance of preparing for a “no-deal” Brexit. The Commission has published 88 preparedness notices, along with 3 detailed Brexit Preparedness Communications. The Commission also stepped up its “no-deal” outreach to EU businesses this week in the area of customs and indirect taxation.  The Commission continues to hold technical discussions with the EU27 Member States both on general issues of preparedness and contingency work and on specific sectorial, legal and administrative preparedness issues. Between January and March 2019, the Commission’s Deputy Secretary-General, Céline Gauer, and a team of Commission officials are visiting the capitals of the 27 EU Member States to provide any necessary clarifications on the Commission’s preparedness and contingency action and to discuss national preparations and contingency plans. Today they are in Latvia. The visits so far have shown a high degree of preparation by Member States for all scenarios. All information related to the Commission’s ongoing contingency and preparedness work is available here: https://ec.europa.eu/info/brexit/brexit-preparedness_en.

EU budget for 2021-2027: Commission welcomes provisional agreement on the future European Defence Fund | EU Commission Press

The EU institutions have reached a partial political agreement on the European Defence Fund, subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and Council, which will foster an innovative and competitive defence industrial base and contribute to the EU’s strategic autonomy.

In a world of increasing instability and cross-border threats to our security, no country can succeed alone. That is why the Juncker Commission is making an unprecedented effort to protect and defend Europeans. The European Defence Fund, proposed by the Commission in June 2018 as part of the EU-long-term budget for the years 2021-2027, is part of these initiatives to bolster the EU’s ability to protect its citizens.

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “This is a major step in making European defence cooperation a reality. The European Defence Fund will help Member States get better value for taxpayer money, promote a strong and innovative defence industry and raise the EU’s autonomy and technological leadership in defence.”

Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, added: “This agreement is yet another important building block to ensure that Europe becomes a stronger security provider for its citizens. The Fund will foster technological innovation and cooperation in the European defence sector, so that Europe benefits from cutting-edge, interoperable defence technology and equipment in novel areas like artificial intelligence, encrypted software, drone technology or satellite communication.”

Subject to final formal adoption by the European Parliament and Council, an agreement has been found on the following key elements:

  • The Fund will provide support all along the industrial development lifecycle, from research to prototype development up to certification.
  • The Fund will finance collaborative research projects mainly through grants.
  • Beyond the research and design phase, where up to 100% funding is possible, the EU budget will be available to complement Member States’ investment by co-financing costs for prototype development (up to 20%) and the ensuing testing, qualification and certification actions (up to 80%).
  • The Fund will provide incentives for projects with cross-border participation of the many SMEs and mid-caps in the defence supply chain by providing higher financing rates.
  • Projects in the context of Permanent European Structured Cooperation (PESCO) may, if eligible, receive an additional co-financing bonus of 10%, but funding is not automatic.
  • Projects will be defined in line with defence priorities agreed by Member States within the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, and in particular in the context of the Capability Development Plan (CDP), but regional and international priorities, such as in the framework of NATO, can also be taken into account.
  • Only collaborative projects involving at least three eligible entities from at least three Member States or associated countries are normally eligible.
  • At least 4% and up to 8% of the budget will be allocated to disruptive, high-risk innovation that will boost Europe’s long-term technological leadership and defence autonomy.
  • In principle only entities established in the EU or associated countries and not controlled by third countries or their legal entities are eligible for funding. EU based subsidiaries of third country companies can exceptionally be eligible to funding subject to defined conditions to ensure that the security and defence interests of the EU and the Member States are not put at risk. Entities based outside of the EU will not receive any EU funding but can participate in cooperative projects. The EU is therefore not excluding anybody from the European Defence Fund, but setting conditions to receive funding which are similar to the ones that EU companies face on third country markets.

Next steps

The preliminary political agreement reached by the European Parliament, Council and Commission in the so-called trilogue negotiations is now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and Council. The budgetary aspects and some related horizontal provisions of the future European Defence Fund are subject to the overall agreement on the EU’s next long-term budget, proposed by the Commission in May 2018.

Background

In his political guidelines in June 2014, President Juncker made strengthening European citizens’ security a priority. He announced the creation of a European Defence Fund in his 2016 State of the Union address.

Since then, the European Commission, under the steer of President Juncker and with the support of Member States, is taking steps to make defence cooperation under the EU budget a reality.

The Commission is already paving the way under the current EU budget period which ends in 2020. For the first time in European history, the EU is incentivising European defence cooperation with a budget envelope of €590 million (€90 million for research over 2017-2019 and €500 million for developing equipment and technology during 2019-2020).

  • Defence research cooperation is already materialising. First EU grant agreements under the 2017 budget included the research project Ocean2020, which brings together 42 partners from 15 EU countries and supports maritime surveillance missions at sea and to that end will integrate drones and unmanned submarines into fleet operations. In the coming weeks the Commission will announce further collaborative defence research projects under the 2018 budget and present the work programme and final call for proposals under the remaining budget tranche for 2019.
  • The Commission has formally initiated work with Member States to finance joint industrial projects in the field of defence. Following the views of Member States, in a few weeks, the Commission will adopt the first ever Work Programme for the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) to co-finance joint industrial projects in the field of defence under the EU budget for 2019-2020.

On the basis of these two “pilot” programmes, and scaling up initial funding, the Commission proposed in June 2018 a fully-fledged European Defence Fund worth €13 billion under the next EU long-term budget to cover both the research and capability strands.

The European Defence Fund will complement other EU programmes proposed by the Commission, in particular the €6.5 billion earmarked for the Connecting Europe Facility to enhance the EU’s strategic transport infrastructures to make them fit for military mobility, and the proposal for a new €100 billion research and innovation programme Horizon Europe.

Further information

State of the European Union 2016

Press release on European Defence Fund launch, June 2017

Press release on first defence research grants, February 2018

Press release on the Proposal for a European Defence Fund 2021-2027, June 2018

Factsheet European Defence Fund, June 2018

Speech by Commissioner Bieńkowska on defence and space, January 2019

Press release on European Defence Industrial Development Programme, February 2019