European Defence Action Plan: Towards a European Defence Fund
Today the College has adopted the European Defence Action Plan, which proposes to create a European Defence Fund and includes a number of other actions to support Member States’ more efficient spending in joint defence capabilities, strengthen European citizens’ security and foster a competitive and innovative industrial base. In his 2016 State of the Union speech, President Jean-Claude Juncker highlighted the importance of a strong Europe that can defend and protect its citizens at home and abroad – an ambition which cannot be achieved without innovating and pooling resources in the European defence industry. The European Defence Action Plan adopted by the Commission today delivers on that vision. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “To guarantee our collective security, we must invest in the common development of technologies and equipment of strategic importance – from land, air, sea and space capabilities to cyber security. It requires more cooperation between Member States and greater pooling of national resources. If Europe does not take care of its own security, nobody else will do it for us. A strong, competitive and innovative defence industrial base is what will give us strategic autonomy.” The Commission proposes to setup a European Defence Fund to support investment in joint research and the joint development of defence equipment and technologies, foster investments in SMEs, start-ups, mid-caps and other suppliers to the defence, and strengthen the Single Market for defence.