In the European Defence Action Plan of November 2016, the European Commission announced its intention to launch a substantive European Defence Fund for research and capability development: The so-called research window consists of the Preparatory Action (PA) mobilising €90 million from 2017 to 2020 for defence research, and a much bigger follow-on European Defence Research Programme (EDRP) as of 2021. For the capability window, the EC proposes a European Defence Industry Development Programme (EDIDP) worth €500 million for 2019/20, to be followed from 2021 onwards by a much bigger development programme. In total, the EC proposes to invest €500 million/year for defence R&T (EDRP), and €1 billion/year on capability development (EDIDP2) from the EU-budget under the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).
ASD welcomes and supports the European Defence Fund and the Commission’s ambition for defence as part of the next MFF. At the same time, there are a number of factors that industry believes need to be taken into account in planning both the research and the capability window of the European Defence Fund. These derive both from the specificities of the defence sector, and from the current export- dependent state of the industry, as a result of decades of declining defence expenditure, as a proportion of GDP, within Europe.
This paper focusses on the envisaged EDRP and outlines key features that a future EU-funded defence research programme should have to become a success.
Read our Position Paper >