Security and Defence

Policy briefs

New kid on the block

19 Dec 2016 - 18:15

The European Commission and European defence

The newly launched European Defence Action Plan (EDAP) opens the door to EU spending on defence. This policy brief analyses why the EDAP has been launched, what it is and how it will work in practice. It argues that the plan is a step change in the European Commission’s growing involvement in defence and a potential game changer in solving the problem of European military shortfalls. European capitals should therefore embrace the new kid on the block and make full use of the potential offered by the EDAP.

The Commission’s EDAP is an important contribution to the implementation of the new EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy of June 2016. But it is more than just another document. It aims to fill a gap which member states have not been able to close since European defence cooperation was launched in the year 2000, that is to solve the problem of European military shortfalls. It would be another debacle if member states in the Council or the European Parliament would lower the EDAP’s financial envelop in the forthcoming
debates of the EU’s 2021-2027 Multi-annual Financial Framework. European capitals should embrace the new kid on the block and make full use of the potential offered by the European Defence Fund. It is important for speeding up capability improvement which is much needed if the member states want to be serious about the EU taking up its responsibilities as a security actor.