EU defence: Deal on joint procurement of defence products

European Parliament and Council of the EU negotiators have reached a deal on new rules to incentivise EU countries to jointly procure defence products and support the EU’s defence industry, the European Parliament said in a media statement on June 28.

The new regulation, informally agreed by the two EU legislators on the evening of June 27, will establish a short-term instrument to boost the European defence industry through common procurement (EDIRPA), until December 31 2025.

“The tool should help member states fill their most urgent and critical defence needs, especially exacerbated by their transfers of defence products to Ukraine, in a voluntary and collaborative way,” the statement said.

It should also help to foster the competitiveness and efficiency of the European Defence Technological and industrial base (EDTIB), including SMEs and mid-capitalisation companies, by ramping up manufacturing and opening supply chains to cross-border cooperation, according to the statement.

At least three member states are needed to activate common procurement, which will cover defence products as defined in Article 2 of Directive 2009/81/EC.

European Parliament and Council of the EU negotiators agreed on a budget of 300 million euro to finance the implementation of the instrument.

The EU will contribute up to 20 per cent to each purchase of the estimated value of the common procurement contract, for each consortium of member states and associated countries.

To benefit from these funds, entities with common procurement contracts will have to be established in the EU or in associated countries (including EFTA members of the European Economic Area – i.e. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).

During the talks, MEPs obtained that member states engaging in a joint procurement may also agree to purchase defence products together with Ukraine and Moldova.

The European Commission will evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the actions taken under the EDIRPA upon the termination of the programme.

The Commission will identify possible shortfalls and critical dependencies on non associated third countries on raw materials, components and production capacities and propose mitigating measures.

Michael Gahler, rapporteur for the Foreign Affairs Committee and Security and Defence Subcommittee, said: “If Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine taught us one thing, it is that we are not prepared to defend ourselves.

“We can no longer afford to ignore that and we need to remedy that situation together as we should have done already much earlier. Therefore, the agreement on EDIRPA, despite its rather small budget, marks an important step towards a real Common Security and Defence Policy of the EU,” Gahler said.

(Photo: Sébastien Bertrand)

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