STRASBOURG, France – The European Commission proposed on Wednesday providing the fledgling European Defense Budget 13 billion euros from the European Union’s 2021-2027 long-term budget.
In addition, EU member countries are asked to directly assign an additional 10.5 billion euros to a proposed European Peace Facility and Security Fund. Its role will be to finance European military peace-keeping missions and operations.
The European Defense fund, which received an initial pilot budget of 500 million euros for the 2019-2020 period, will provide “financial firepower and incentives for cross-border corporations” in cutting-edge technologies such as encrypted software and drone technology.
The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said during a press conference at the European Parliament: “The EU must become a security provider in our region and beyond.”
The EU has considered it must scale-back its defense and security dependence that relies on partners such as the United States.
The fund will only consider projects with at least three EU member countries.
According to Jyrki Katainen, EC Vice-president in charge of Jobs, Growth, Investment, and Competitiveness added it was a matter of “Spending better together.”
The final outcome of these Defense funds will depend on negotiations among EU institutions when they address their 2021-2027 EU long-term budget.
On the other hand, the new European Peace Facility and Security Fund, which has been assigned 10.5 billion euros, will be an off-budget fund attempting to streamline peace-keeping military missions and operations within the framework of the EU Common Security and Defense Policy. An initiative seeking to avoid conflict, consolidate peace and guarantee international security.
Mogherini underlined this fund will “allow us to support armed forces of partner countries (...) when the council decides to do so” and stated its main operations area would be in Africa.