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Mogherini unveils European Defence Action Plan

EU News 391/2016


The European Commission today proposed the creation of a European Defence Fund and other actions to help Member States to boost research and spend more efficiently on joint defence capabilities, so to strengthen European citizens' security and foster a competitive and innovative industrial base.

The European Defence Action Plan is one of the three pillars of plans to strengthen EU security and defence as set out in High Representative Federica Mogherini’s Global Strategy. The Global Strategy’s Implementation Plan on Security and Defence sets out a new level of ambition for the EU and identifies actions to fulfil it, including better cooperation on defence capabilities. It is also in line with the EU-NATO Joint Declaration, signed in July: HRVP Mogherini and Secretary-General of NATO, Stoltenberg,  are currently working on its implementation.


The European Defence Action Plan proposes to set up a European Defence Fund to support investment in joint research and the joint development of defence equipment and technologies. The proposed Fund would include a ‘research window’ to fund collaborative research in innovative defence technologies such as electronics, metamaterials, encrypted software or robotics. The Commission has already proposed EUR 25 million for defence research as part of the 2017 EU budget, and expects that this budget allocation could grow to a total of EUR 90 million by 2020. Under the post-2020 EU multiannual financial framework, the Commission intends to propose a dedicated defence research programme with an estimated amount of EUR 500 million per year. A ‘capability window’ would act as a financial tool allowing participating Member States to purchase certain assets together to reduce their costs.

The plan also aims to foster investments in SMEs, start-ups, mid-caps and other suppliers to the defence industry and strengthen the EU’s single market for defence, by applying two Directives on defence and security procurement and on EU transfers, facilitating cross-border participation in defence procurement, supporting the development of industry standards, and promoting the contribution of sectoral policies, such as EU space programmes, to common security and defence priorities.

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© European Union, 2016 URL