EU announces €500 million for defence projects
On 19 March 2019 the EU announced up to €500 million in funding for defence projects, including the development of a ‘Eurodrone’. The European Commission, the bloc's executive, said €100 million was earmarked for the proposed drone as the bloc seeks to reduce its dependency on US technology.
Brussels is stepping up efforts to rationalise Europe's spending on new military equipment to make it more cost-effective and reduce waste.
‘With the EU investments we are launching today, we are going from ideas to concrete projects, we are strengthening the competitiveness of our defence industries,’ Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said.
The commission will soon invite proposals for projects in five priority areas, with over €180 million on offer for intelligence, secure communications and cyber and €5.7 million for AI-enabled defence technology.
‘Cooperation in defence is the only way to protect and defend Europeans in an increasingly instable world," commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said. ‘Joint projects are materialising. European Defence is happening.’
The commission has proposed a budget of €13 billion for defence for the period from 2021 to 2027.
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