The European Union is set to unveil a multi-million-euro defense fund to buy military equipment and on inter-European defense capabilities at a time when US President has called for increased contributions from European countries for NATO.
The push for a new phase of cooperation on military and security including on procurement of weapons and technologies will make European countries free from relying on US spending in North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The EU spending on defense and security which was said to complement and not compete with NATO during the NATO Warsaw summit in December 2016 may not be the case now.
“More than ever, Europeans need to take greater responsibility for their own security,” EU staff will say, as they also unveil a legislative proposal for the establishment of a defense fund that will streamline the military procurement process across the continent, Bloomberg quoted a draft of a “reflection paper” on the future of the bloc’s defense which will be unveiled on Wednesday.
There is a strong case for greater cooperation on security and defence in the EU. The threats that the EU faces do not respect national borders. Their scale is increasing. They are best tackled by working together, the European Commission said in a press release on 24 May, 2017.
A strong European defence requires a strong European defence industry. As Member States begin to increase their defence budgets, the EU can help them to spend these funds more efficiently. The lack of cooperation between Member States in the field of defence and security is estimated to cost annually between €25 billion and €100 billion. 80% of procurement and more than 90% of Research and Technology are run on a national basis Up to 30% of annual defence expenditures could be saved through pooling of procurement, the press release said.
A factsheet by European Commission for a strong case for EU cooperation on security and defense states that, there are 178 different weapon systems in the EU, compared to 30 in the US There are more helicopter producers in Europe than there are governments able to buy them. And despite the EU27 spending half as much as the United States on defence, we are not even half as efficient. This all points to big duplications in European defence spending.
US President Donald Trump in a speech in Brussels last month had chided NATO member countries directly for not meeting their share of financial commitments towards the organization. He further raised doubts over US commitment to the alliance's mutual defense pledge.
"Members of the alliance must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations," Trump said.
"Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they are supposed to be paying for their defense. This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States," he said.
Disagreements between the US and the EU over military spending, climate change and trade have compelled the European nations to call for stronger defense cooperation.
Elbit Systems has won a $390 million, to supply an array of ground electronic intelligence capabilities to a European country. The contract, which includes various intelligence capabilities, as well as communications and command and control solutions, will be performed over a three-year period
Harris Corporation has received contracts valued at a total of $90 million from a European nation for tactical radios as part of the countrys communications readiness program. The contracts include the companys Falcon II AN/PRC-150C, which provides beyond line-of-sight communications and assured communications in a satellite-denied environment, and the Falcon III AN/PRC-152A that provides wideband voice and data capability for enhanced situational awareness
US Army will be deploying a fleet of 20 AH-64 Apache aircraft from the 1st Armored Division to Europe in February in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. The 1-501st, also known as the Iron Dragon Battalion, will be deployed this February for a nine-month rotation
German Defense Minister Von der Leyen while defending NATO and the transatlantic relationship on Wednesday, has sought for clarification from the incoming US Trump Administration regarding its policy towards Europe. Questions on transatlantic relations abound as Donald Trump prepares to take over the White House
European lawmakers have called for an approval of arms embargo against Saudi Arabia citing its involvement in the ongoing war in Yemen. A petition signed by over 750,000 European citizens asking for an end to weapons sales to Riyadh follows the European Parliaments resolution, Reuters reported Thursday
The European Union defense pact, known as Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), has identified 17 defense projects to be undertaken by the 25 participating EU states starting next year. European Union member states on Monday kick-started the establishment of a defense union, after the European Council approved the new European defense and security cooperation network, at a meeting in Brussels, an EU press release said
The European commission today proposed to mobilise €5.5 billion per year as part of unified defence fund to boost Europe's defence capabilities and to coordinate, supplement and amplify national investments in defence research, in the development of prototypes and in the acquisition of defence equipment and technology,
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