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EU Commission reveals 5-billion-euro European Defense Fund

Published: November 30, 2016
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The European Commission is planning to propose the creation of a fund for military procurement and research, as part of wider plans for an EU defence union. The proposal, due out in Brussels on Wednesday (30 November) and seen by the Reuters news agency, says member states should pool money into a “European Defence Fund” that could be used to purchase items such as helicopters, warships, and drones.

The European Commission is planning to propose the creation of a fund for military procurement and research, as part of wider plans for an EU defence union.

The proposal, due out in Brussels on Wednesday (30 November) and seen by the Reuters news agency, says member states should pool money into a “European Defence Fund” that could be used to purchase items such as helicopters, warships, and drones.

It says participating states would be able to borrow from the fund to buy assets for their national militaries and would be able to offset their contributions from their EU budget targets.

It also says the EU should lift a ban on using its existing budget, as well as using European Investment Bank lending, to pay for research into military technology, such as drones or cyber-defence, in a related European Defence Research Programme.

The European Defence Fund would aim to save €25 billion to €100 billion a year in procurement costs.

The EU could also allocate €90 million between 2017 and 2019 and up to €3.5 billion between 2021 and 2027 from its joint budget for the European research fund.

The European Defence Agency, a branch of the EU foreign service, in October already allocated €1.4 million for a Portuguese pilot project due to run until 2018.

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