About: European defence

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.

EU greenlights new wave of military projects, secret agents training

Foreign and defence ministers on Monday (19 November) agreed on 17 new armaments and military projects within the PESCO framework, including the development of new weapons systems and the establishment of a training facility for secret agents.

Stoltenberg opposes EU defence duplicating NATO, Putin likes the idea

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned Europe against undermining transatlantic ties, following a defence spat between US President Donald Trump and French leader Emmanuel Macron.

Macron calls for ‘true European army’ to defend against Russia, US, China

French President Emmanuel Macron called on Tuesday (6 November) for a "real European army" to allow the bloc to defend itself against Russia and even the United States, a hugely sensitive idea amongst EU nations which jealously guard their defence.

Belgium to buy US F-35 fighters in blow to EU’s defence policy

Belgium said Thursday (25 October) it had chosen to buy US-made F-35 stealth warplanes over the Eurofighter Typhoon, which critics call a blow to the EU's bid to build its own defences.

With Brexit looming, Germany and Britain ramp up defence cooperation

Britain signed a military cooperation agreement with Germany on Friday (5 October), emphasising London's commitment to helping shield Europe from future security threats at a time when negotiations over its own exit from the EU are reaching a crunch time.

Battle rages over EU defence pact

A diplomatic tussle has broken over the European Union's flagship defence cooperation pact, amid warnings that the bloc could cut itself off from major allies like the US and post-Brexit Britain.
Defence policy 28-08-2018

German foreign minister brands Trump’s EU policy ‘irritating’

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas again took aim at US President Donald Trump's foreign policy in a speech on Monday, branding his policies towards Europe "irritating".

Britain unveils fighter jet model to rival Franco-German programme

Britain unveiled a model of a sleek proposed fighter jet named Tempest yesterday (16 July), raising questions about the future of European defence cooperation, given that Germany and France launched their own fighter jet programme a year ago.

US pushes NATO to ready more forces to deter Russian threat

The United States is pressing its European allies to get more NATO battalions, ships and planes ready for combat, officials say, in a fresh move to shore up NATO’s deterrence against any Russian attack.

White smoke for first-ever EU defence industry fund

The new European Defence Industrial Development Programme, with a €500 million budget for 2019-2020, was informally agreed by MEPs and Council on Tuesday night (22 to 23 May).

EU post-Brexit defences starting to take shape

A broad European military strategy involving Britain after Brexit has started to take shape with France at its centre, often in negotiations far from the Brussels spotlight and, in one top-level EU meeting, without the UK defence minister.

EU defence gets €20 billion budget boost

The EU on Wednesday (2 May) announced plans to spend nearly 20 billion euros on defence over its next long-term budget, as the bloc seeks to boost its resilience to the perceived threat from Russia.

German air defence unit put under Dutch control as military ties deepen

The German military on Wednesday (4 April) put a short-range air defence unit with about 450 soldiers under Dutch command, further deepening ties between the two NATO allies.

EU defence ministers hold ‘historic’ first meeting in PESCO format

EU defence ministers yesterday (6 March) held their first meeting in the 'PESCO format'. This means that, although ministers from all EU member states were present, only those participating in the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) pact were involved in adopting legal acts.
Global Europe 08-02-2018

EU, NATO face growing threat of inadvertent military clash, report says

The erosion of arms control agreements, deployment of additional weapons and tensions over military exercises have increased the risk of an inadvertent armed clash between Europe and Russia, according to the 2018 Munich Security Report published today (8 February). 
Politics 29-11-2017

European military cooperation: How to defend Europe?

23 European member states agreed to work closer together in military terms. But the cooperation of defence contractors could cause some problems – especially between Berlin and Paris. EURACTIV Germany's media partner Der Tagesspiegel reports.
Defence policy 09-11-2017

EU to sign joint defence pact in show of post-Brexit unity

At least 20 members of the European Union will next week sign up to a new defence pact, heavily promoted by France and Germany, to fund and develop joint military hardware in a show of unity following Britain's decision to quit the bloc.
Politics 14-07-2017

BAE says unfazed by Franco-German fighter project, sees future role

The head of military aviation at UK defence contractor BAE Systems said on Friday (14 July) he did not feel threatened by Franco-German plans to develop a new European fighter and predicted Britain would end up participating in some way.
Politics 14-07-2017

France and Germany to develop new European fighter jet

France and Germany unveiled plans yesterday (13 July) to develop a European fighter jet, burying past rivalries as part of a raft of measures to tighten defence and security cooperation.
Global Europe 04-07-2017

US no longer a ‘friend’ in Merkel election programme

In their campaign programme for the German election, Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives have dropped the term "friend" in describing the relationship with the United States.
Politics 22-06-2017

EU leaders hail ‘historic step’ in defence cooperation

EU leaders hailed as “historic” the decision taken at the Council summit on Thursday (22 June) to establish permanent European defence cooperation. French President Emmanuel Macron, for whom this is the first EU summit, praised Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for his role as architect of the project.
Economy & Jobs 22-06-2017

Macron reaffirms hope for EU ahead of first summit

On the eve of his first European summit (22-23 June), French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed his belief in a Europe capable of transforming the world with France as a driving force.
Global Europe 30-05-2017

‘Brexit’ and ‘future of Europe’ muddle EU’s budget decision-making

Günther Oettinger today (30 May) presented the draft EU budget for 2018, acknowledging decision-making difficulties. He said the next long-term budget should be tabled by next summer, to take into account the Brexit context and the decisions on the future of the Union.