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European Commission presents first-ever European Defense Industrial Strategy

With the launch of EDIS, the EU aims to strengthen its defense technological and industrial base through increased investment, collaboration, and innovation.
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European Union Flags. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Thijs ter Haar
European Commission presents first-ever European Defense Industrial Strategy

The European Commission and the High Representative have unveiled the European Defense Industrial Strategy (EDIS), a landmark initiative to bolster the competitiveness and readiness of the EU’s defense industry.

In response to the heightened conflict on the continent, notably Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine, the strategy aims to ensure long-term defense industrial readiness within the European Union.

“A stronger and more responsive European defense industry will benefit the Member States and ultimately EU citizens. It will also benefit the EU’s key partners, including NATO and Ukraine,” the statement reads.

The strategy introduces a legislative proposal for a European Defence Industry Programme (EDIP) and a framework of measures to guarantee the timely availability and supply of defense products. It seeks to address the challenges faced by the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) while harnessing its potential over the next decade.

Key actions outlined in the strategy include supporting a more efficient expression of collective defense demand among Member States, securing the availability of all defense products under any circumstances, ensuring that national and EU budgets provide the necessary support for the adaptation of the defense industry, mainstreaming a defense readiness culture across policies, developing closer ties with Ukraine, and enhancing cooperation with NATO and other strategic partners.

By 2030, Member States are offered to procure at least 40% of defense equipment collaboratively, ensure that the value of intra-EU defense trade represents at least 35% of the EU defense market, and make steady progress towards procuring at least 50% of their defense procurement budget within the EU, aiming for 60% by 2035.

The EDIP encompasses both financial and regulatory aspects, extending financial support for cooperation between Member States in procurement and for defense industries to increase their production capacity.

Earlier, Euractive reported that the European Commission aims to grant Ukraine full membership in the EU’s defense industry support scheme.

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