D66: Welcome step for European defence cooperation

Press release
Marietje

MEP: Defence development programme welcome step for European defence cooperation

The European Parliament adopted the launch of the European defence industrial development programme (EDIDP) for supporting European defence cooperation. The programme is created for projects in which at least three companies in at least three Member States cooperate. MEP Schaake (D66/ALDE) responds: This is an important step for European defence cooperation. By encouraging cooperation between different Member States from the design phase of products and technologies, we prevent duplication and enhance efficiency. Supporting development is crucial, especially in the early stages due to technical and financial risks that can hamper innovation.”  

Level playing field

The agreement stipulates that at least 10% of the budget should benefit cross-border participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Schaake: “Companies from countries with smaller defence industries will improve their position, which is good for The Netherlands. We need to create a level playing field with an open and competitive defence market, in which we combat protectionism.”  

Strategic autonomy

For the programme a budget of 500 million euro for 2019-2020 has been allocated. It fits into a series of extensive measures aimed at improving European defence and security cooperation. Schaake: “Our current unstable world requires a strategically autonomous European Union. At the same time, the development and innovation of European defence capacities should not lead to alienating so-called “third countries”, such as the United States and soon the United Kingdom. Measures must be taken in close cooperation with NATO.”