Military Capabilities

Policy officials and pundits split over Europe’s future defence capability development

21 September 2017

Officials and defence experts in Brussels are split over how the EU’s new initiatives, such as its European Defence Fund (EDF), should support multinational defence capability programmes, and whether the latter should be open to non-EU players.

At stake is future EU-NATO military interoperability and the shape of Europe’s defence industrial base, they said.

Unveiled by the European Commission in June 2017, the EDF will be launched in 2019 with initial annual funding of EUR2.5 billion (USD3 billion) for defence research and development and programmes, rising to a projected EUR5.5 billion per year when the EU’s next seven-year general budget starts in 2021.

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