The European Union (EU) has increased the budget of its armament agency by one third to €32m.

The 2008 budget includes €6m for developing technology for unmanned aircraft, which will need further approval from EU nations after a technical and economic assessment of the project.

Defence ministers agreed at least 20 percent of military budgets should go toward new equipment purchases, up from the current level of 19.4 percent.

For a second year Britain has blocked plans to set a three-year agency budget that would allow for longer-term planning.

By staff writer