In a vote on July 13, the European Parliament adopted plans to increase EU production of ammunition and missiles to address the current shortage.
According to the text, agreed upon with Council of the EU last week, the Act in Support of Ammunition Production (ASAP) aims to accelerate the delivery of ammunition and missiles to Ukraine and to help EU countries restock their arsenals.
The ASAP comes in response to a Ukrainian request to the EU to supply 155 mm-calibre artillery rounds and the agreement of the Council of the EU on March 20 2023 on a three-track proposal on ammunition.
Member states have been invited to urgently transfer ammunition from their own stocks to Ukraine (Track 1). EU countries have agreed to jointly procure one million ammunition rounds (Track 2). Track 3 aims to ramp up production capacity in the European defence industry.
This should be achieved through the ASAP, which responds directly to the Council’s call to deliver ammunition urgently, and if requested missiles too, to Ukraine and to help member states restock their supplies.
By introducing targeted measures, including 500 million euro in financing, ASAP aims to ramp up the EU’s production capacity to address the current shortage of defence products, specifically artillery ammunition, missiles and their components, the European Parliament said in a statement.
During negotiations with Council of the EU, MEPs ensured that a more diverse range of projects receive funding, and that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) would be eligible for a higher funding rate, the statement said.
They secured new financing that should not come at the expense of existing cohesion funding. MEPs also pushed to ensure that EU countries will provide Ukraine with the ammunition funded under this legislation, without it being subject to export restrictions.
The legislation was adopted with 505 votes to 56, with 21 abstentions. It now also needs to be endorsed by Council of the EU in order to become law.
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