Ukraine’s conflict has had a negative impact on bloc members’ low defense spending for decades, according to a draft European Commission report
The European Union (EU) has listed flaws in its defense that have been uncovered in the wake of the Ukraine conflict, media reported after seeing a draft European Commission paper on Friday.
According to documents seen by Bloomberg News Agency and the Spanish newspaper El Pais, the main gaps include air and missile defense systems; Land, air, and naval combat capabilities such as submarines and tanks; As well as satellite-based secure connectivity and cyber defense.
Member states also experienced a shortage of ammunition and missiles due to their shipments to Ukrainian government forces in the conflict with Russia.
The draft paper notes that the events in Ukraine have significantly degraded the European Union’s security landscape and negatively impacted decades of lower defense spending on members of the bloc.
The European Commission is proposing a new investment tool called Defense-EU to centralize defense spending in the European Union and make it more effective. This should allow for a 27-member union “To map, coordinate and encourage joint development, collection and ownership throughout the entire life cycle of defense equipment.” The document emphasizes that joint arms purchases should be a norm rather than an exception in the EU.
Brussels seeks to lift the European Investment Bank’s current boycott of defense projects and eventually establish a new joint venture entity for the bloc.
Another suggestion is to introduce a one-point EU solidarity reciprocity scheme, which would allow other member states to replenish their stocks with the largest arms suppliers to Ukraine.
“EU initiatives to enhance defense cooperation help strengthen a fair transatlantic burden sharing and a more effective European contribution to NATO.” Reading documents.
The commission estimates that due to the conflict in Ukraine, EU countries will continue to increase their defense spending, from about 200 billion euros in 2021, to another 60 billion euros this year.
However, the draft acknowledges that there is not much room left in the current budget approved by the EU in 2020 to increase its defense. The paper’s authors suggest a more in-depth discussion of the situation in Ukraine, with the aim of reviewing the EU’s demand for European defense funds.
The draft document is expected to be presented to EU ministers early next week, media reports said.