The College today held an Orientation Debate to prepare the Reflection Paper on the future of European Defence by 2025, which is due to be adopted on 7 June. The Paper will open up discussions on how to better use the existing opportunities under the EU Treaties to create improve the security of our citizens. Defence and security is a field that is a top priority for European Union citizens.
A stronger Europe when it comes to security and defence matters has also been a priority for the Juncker Commission since it took office, with President Juncker announcing the creation of a European Defence Fund in his 2016 State of the Union address. With a worsening security situation in Europe’s neighbourhood and a strong economic case for greater cooperation on defence spending amongst EU countries, the Commission believes now is the time to make strides towards a European Security and Defence Union.
The EU is the second biggest spender in the military field after the United States. But due to the lack of sufficient coordination, our capabilities in Europe are not as well developed as they are elsewhere. Our lack of interoperability is a challenge for our security.
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.
In addition the College also discussed the 2018 draft EU budget which will be adopted next week, making sure EU spending continues to focus on the priority areas that matter to citizens. The College also briefly took stock of this week’s Eurogroup discussion on Greece.
Compliments of the European Commission