Russia’s war against Ukraine underlined the need for the EU to strengthen its defence strategy and speed up weapons production. Learn how.
On 9 May 2023, MEPs agreed to fast track legislation to boost EU production of ammunition and missiles, the so-called Act in Support of Ammunition Production(ASAP). The proposal is to provide financing of €500 million to help EU industry ramp up capacity to increase deliveries to Ukraine and help EU countries refill their stocks. Parliament aims to approve the law by the end of July.
Expanding European defence equipment stocks
MEPs are also working on legislation called European Defence Industry Reinforcement through the common Procurement Act (EDIRPA) to support EU countries in jointly purchasing defence products such as weapon systems, ammunition and medical equipment, to help fill the most urgent and critical gaps.
The proposal aims to boost the European defence industrial and technological base and foster cooperation on defence procurement, in particular to meet the goal of jointly procuring 35% of total equipment spending compared to 18% in 2021.
How will common procurement of defence products work?
An instrument worth €500 million
The new instrument, worth €500 million, will encourage the joint procurement of defence products by at least three EU countries. It will fund up to 20% of the estimated value of common procurement contracts.
Participation of non-EU countries
Apart from EU countries, the instrument will also be available to countries that are part of the European Economic Area - Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. EU countries would also be able to take part in joint defence product procurement with Ukraine and Moldova.
MEPs agreed their position on the proposals in May 2023 and will now begin negotiations with the Council.