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EU set to start spending its military mobility budget in coming months

The EU will soon begin spending its new EUR1.50 billion (USD1.75 billion) military mobility (MM) budget for 2021–27 on civil infrastructure projects that can also be used by the military, according to the European Commission, which controls the money. Moreover, the European Commission aims to strengthen its four-year-old MM action plan by upgrading its legal status and updating its military requirements.

The commission's goals are outlined in its latest report, released on 27 September, on the plan's implementation. Unveiled in November 2017, the action plan revolves around the EU's infrastructure spending, particularly that for its trans-European networks in transport, energy, and telecommunications (TENtec). Of the three, transport is the most important for the military and “remains an essential pillar of the action plan”, notes the report.

Funding for dual-use MM projects will pass through the EU's Connecting Europe Facility programme, which will initially disburse EUR330 million annually for three years during 2021–23. The programme's first call for proposals, for example, was released on 16 September, with a response deadline of 19 January 2022.

The MM action plan will also be absorbed into the EU's existing TENtec legislation, thus nailing down its legal status. A proposal for that is expected in December, with its likely adoption during the latter half of 2022, an EU source said on 28 September.

The next step, according to the report, will be an update of EU nations' MM requirements. “This would enable further alignment of the trans-European transport network and the EU military transport network maps and standards,” observes the commission in its report.

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