About: European defence

Defence agenda: Defence initiatives and squabbling allies

The second half of 2020 will be crucial for a range of European defence initiatives. It will also be crunch-time for Europeans to make yet another attempt at sorting out security matters on the global stage. Below, we update you...

The budget deal and EU defence cooperation: What are the implications?

Most headlines on the EU budget deal will focus on the response to Covid-19. But the new budget will include billions for new EU defence initiatives, writes Niklas Novaky.

EU must prevent defence budget from being ‘infected’ by virus, officials warn

With the EU struggling to adjust to the current geopolitical reality and new EU defence initiatives under increasing pressure to deliver results, cuts to the bloc's defence budget would be counter-productive, EU defence officials and ministers warned ahead of a crucial EU budget summit on Friday (17 July).

EU lawmakers call on Commission to preserve budget funding for military mobility

A cross-party group of 45 MEPs called on European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell and Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn on Tuesday (9 June) to maintain the bloc's ambition on military mobility in the next seven-year budget.

Armed drones contentious in German disarmament debate

Germany has reopened a controversial debate over whether its armed forces should be trusted to operate armed drones. While an agreement seems far off, the debate could soon get a European twist.

It’s time to vaccinate Europe’s defence budgets

Europe’s armed forces are rightfully being applauded for their efforts in limiting the disastrous effects of COVID-19, but the test of whether European militaries are truly valued will be measured over the next few years as pressure on defence budgets mount, write Daniel Fiott, Torben Schütz and Marcin Terlikowski.

Work with Turkey, NATO tells EU amid migrant crisis

With tensions growing and accusations flying between Turkey and the EU over an escalating migrant crisis, the head of NATO has warned Europe it must find a way to work with "important ally" Ankara.

Berlin wants to open Franco-German arms projects for European partners

Germany's defence minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said on Thursday (13 February) she is willing to open the current Franco-German arms projects to other European partners.

France kickstarts European mission in the Strait of Hormuz

France announced on Thursday (30 January) the beginning of the European Maritime Awareness mission in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASoH), intended to ensure the freedom of navigation in the Gulf while promoting a de-escalation approach with Iran.

Von der Leyen fails to convince that her Commission is ‘geopolitical’

New European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was put on the spot during her visit to Zagreb on Friday (10 January). Asked how she would prove that her Commission is ‘geopolitical’, given the EU's weak response to growing challenges in the region, von der Leyen failed to provide convincing answers.
Global Europe 26-12-2019

Wind of change in Europe’s defence policy

As Europe struggles with financial and political obstacles besetting its joint defence policy efforts, and NATO faces internal rifts and an increasingly assertive Russia and China, here are six issues to watch in Europe's security and defence in 2020.
Global Europe 12-11-2019

EU expands military cooperation with 13 new joint projects

EU defence ministers on Tuesday (12 November) signed off on the third wave of 13 new proposals under the EU's Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework, raising the number of agreed joint military projects to 47 initiatives.
Aerospace 28-10-2019

Europe’s fighter jets of the future on collision course?

The European defence market is looking towards two sixth-generation aircraft programmes – the Franco-German-Spanish Future Combat Aircraft System (FCAS) and the British-led Tempest fighter project. While pressure is mounting on EU member states to pick sides, the question of whether both projects can ultimately coexist remains.

EU defence funding far too small for big ambitions: report

EU's objective to increase defence spending to €22.5 billion over the next decade is insufficient for its ambitions in the sector, the European Court of Auditors said Thursday (12 September) in its annual review paper on the bloc's defence cooperation and policy.

Macron hails common European defence at Paris parade

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday (14 July) sought to showcase European military cooperation in France's annual Bastille Day parade that included representatives of nine other European armies in a show of unity at a time of growing tensions between Europe and the United States.
Future EU 02-07-2019

The quiet rise of Ursula von der Leyen

German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen, a compromise name for the next  European Commission President, is a non-divisive political figure on EU stage and quiet tactician hardly known outside Germany. But her career at home has often been marked by scandals.

France’s weapons exports see sharp increase on European market

France's arms sales in 2018 were worth €9.118 billion, up 30% compared to 2017. Exports to European countries are seeing a strong increase, according to the French Ministry for Armed Forces. EURACTIV's partner Brussels2.eu reports.

EU fends off US attack in spat over the bloc’s military reforms

The EU responded on Thursday (16 May) to US accusations that a new European military pact risks shutting out American companies of European defence projects and undermine NATO.

Brexit uncertainty delays EU’s defence industry plans

EU and NATO officials have repeated the need for coherence in Europe’s future defence cooperation. However, crucial decisions on EU military project participation and funds have been delayed - also due to the stalemate over Brexit.

Letters reveal Parliament split ahead of European Defence Fund vote

Ahead of a crucial European Parliament vote on the European Defence Fund (EDF) on Thursday (17 April), MEPs are at odds over the issue of parliamentary scrutiny, internal communication seen by EURACTIV suggests.
Future EU 05-03-2019

Macron makes EU-wide appeal ‘for European renewal’

French President Emmanuel Macron made an appeal to all Europeans on Monday (4 March) to re-launch the EU project by holding a conference "without taboos" before year's end that could possibly lead to a new treaty.

European Defence Fund talks reveal rift over EU’s defence future

EU lawmakers failed to seal an agreement on the future of the European Defence Fund (EDF) despite a nine hour negotiation session last week.

France and Germany to launch first contracts on future combat jets

France and Germany will on Wednesday (6 February) announce a 65 million euros contract financed equally by both countries over two years as the first act of the joint programme to design a next-generation combat jet, a French army source said.

Bulgarian PM: Pilots tell me F-16 is best

Bulgaria needs a plane capable not only of patrolling, but conducting combat operations and winning, and that means buying F-16s, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov told journalists on Friday (14 December), adding that he didn’t want to influence an ongoing tender in the country.
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