The 500 million-euro project was approved due to difficulties in supplying Ukraine with enough projectiles and missiles.
On Thursday, July 6, representatives of the EU member states’ governments and the European Parliament approved a financial incentives plan for the European defence industry to rapidly expand its production capacity. The plan was proposed by the European Commission in May and foresees the allocation of 500 million euros from the EU budget.
Margarita Robles, Spanish Defence Minister, who is the EU Council President at the moment, says that the agreement is a further proof of the EU's unwavering commitment to support Ukraine. It also demonstrates a commitment to strengthening the EU’s defence technological and industrial base and ensures the long-term security and defence of EU citizens.
The plan was approved due to difficulties in supplying Ukraine with ammunition
The project was approved due to EU countries' difficulties in supplying Ukraine with enough artillery ammunition and missiles to repel the Russian aggression. The production expansion aims at preventing further difficulties for the Ukrainian Armed Forces and ensuring that the EU nations retain the ability to defend themselves and maintain sufficient ammunition stocks.
The agreement must be formally approved by the EU Council and the European Parliament. The regulation may enter into force by the end of July, the dpa news agency quoted EU sources.
Borrell's three-stage plan
In March, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell presented a three-stage plan. First: allocate 1 billion euros from the European Peace Facility (EPF) to replenish the national reserves of those EU countries that are ready to give ammunition to Ukraine. Second: develop a common coordinated approach to the procurement of artillery projectiles to replenish own reserves and provide ammunition to Ukraine in the medium term through the European Defence Agency. According to Borrell, a collective approach should help to reduce the ammunition price and shorten the delivery time. A further 1 billion euros from the EPF was proposed for this purpose.
The third stage of the plan is to increase the capacity of the EU countries defence industry to cover their army’s needs.