The European Union is setting up a powerful tool for the acquisition of European defense equipment... or almost

Thursday, December 7, 2023

The European Union is setting up a powerful tool for the acquisition of European defense equipment… or almost

This is perplexing. Indeed, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament have reached an agreement for the implementation of a tool which should considerably increase European preference in the acquisition of defense equipment by member states, while improving the standardization of armies, a long-standing objective for the EU.

Concretely, the new system will allow the partial reimbursement of the costs of acquiring defense equipment by the armies of member states, as long as these acquisitions respect a certain number of rules.

Firstly, it is essential that the equipment acquired is acquired by at least 3 member or associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway), through a European public procurement procedure. On the other hand, and predictably, the acquired defense equipment must be produced in Europe, by European companies.

Compliance with these conditions should allow buyers to be reimbursed up to 15% of the amount of the order per participating state in order to control any possible abuses that could occur, with phantom participations in support of an allied state.

The European Union supports the acquisition of European defense equipment

The text must still be endorsed by all member states to enter into force, but it is, at first glance, a powerful tool which could make it possible to strengthen European preference in army acquisition programs, and therefore to strengthen the European Defense Technological Base (Defense Industry).

Unfortunately, as is often the case, the devil is in the details, and in particular the definition of what can be qualified as equipment produced in Europe, and therefore eligible for the financial assistance offered.

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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