Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have for the first time approved a proposal to establish the new European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) to fund the joint development of military systems.
Under the EDIDP, a €500m fund is expected to be allocated from the European Union (EU) budget for 2019-20 to help co-finance the joint development of new and upgraded products and technologies.
This will help make the EU more independent, make budget spending more efficient and support the development of new defence technologies.
European People’s Party France Les Républicains vice-chair and rapporteur Françoise Grossetête said: “This programme is an historic step forward for European defence industrial projects and responds to three challenges: budgetary efficiency, competitiveness, and strategic autonomy.
“We have achieved in one year of negotiations a promising regulation to improve the innovation capacity of the EU.”
The current EDIDP can serve as the pilot of the next European Defence Fund in the EU’s 2021-27 budget.
With a proposed budget of €13bn, the fund would be used to make the EU more independent in the area of defence through cooperation, while supporting the more efficient use of taxpayer money.
The EU will co-fund projects that will be carried out by a consortium of at least three companies established in at least three different EU member states.
The programme will fund the development phase of both new and upgraded military systems products, in addition to the different phases of technology development in the EU such as studies, design, testing, certification, and build.
Development in a wide range of areas will be supported, including remotely piloted systems, satellite communications, cyber and maritime security, high-end military air, land and sea capabilities, as well as joint domain systems.