The European Parliament has voted in favour of a new mechanism to stimulate the defence industry and help the EU states modernise their weapons.
European Parliament voter for new mechanism for defence procurement
The bill was passed by 530 votes, with 66 against and 32 abstentions. It now needs the formal approval of the EU Council to become law. The press service of the European Parliament reported this.
“The vote marks a historic moment for EU defence”
“Today’s vote marks a historic moment for EU defence, establishing the first EU instrument for joint procurement by member states. It will help them to refill their stocks, increase interoperability among our armed forces, strengthen our industry and contribute to our unwavering support for Ukraine”.Michael Gahler, co-rapporteur for European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee (Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats)
The new short-term instrument, abbreviated to EDIRPA, which was agreed with the EU Council in late June, will help countries address the most urgent defence needs amid intensive military assistance to Ukraine to help it fight against the Russian invasion and should also increase the efficiency and competitiveness of European manufacturers.
- A €300 million EU budget until the end of 2025 to enhance defence capabilities
- There should be at least three EU member states in the consortium to benefit from EU funding
- EU budget will finance the procurement up to 15% or 20% if SMEs or midcaps are involved
- The instrument will allow more support to Ukraine and Moldova
€300 million budget to finance new mechanism for defence procurement
The European Parliament and the Council agreed on a €300 million budget to finance this mechanism. The EU will contribute up to 20 per cent of the expected value of the joint procurement contract for each consortium of member states and associated countries.
To benefit from these funds, the manufacturing companies with joint procurement contracts must be based in the EU or associated countries (including EFTA countries, i.e. Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway).
The countries that will jointly purchase defence goods will also be able to agree to buy them together with Ukraine.
EDIRPA will complement the European Peace Fund, which currently finances, among other things, military assistance to Ukraine.
EU plan to provide Ukraine with one million artillery rounds
On July 25, the EU launched a plan to increase ammunition production for Ukraine – the Ammunition Support Act (ASAP). The ASAP aims to enhance EU production capacity to address the current shortage of weapons, particularly artillery ammunition, missiles and their components, by implementing targeted measures with funding of €500 million.
ASAP is part of the EU’s plan to provide Ukraine with one million artillery rounds of ammunition within 12 months, proposed in March 2023.
The ASAP is a response to Ukraine’s request to the EU for 155 mm artillery shells and the Council agreement of March 20 2023, to propose three lines of ammunition.
- Track 1. Member states were asked to transfer ammunition from their stockpiles to Ukraine urgently.
- Track 2. The EU countries agreed to purchase one million rounds of ammo jointly.
- Track 3. This stage aims to increase the production capacity of the European defence industry. This will be achieved through the ASAP plan, which directly responds to the Council’s call to urgently deliver ammunition to Ukraine and help the EU member states replenish their stockpiles.
Europe’s military aid for Ukraine
On April 13, the EU Council approved the allocation of €1 billion for ammunition for Ukraine. On May 2, the EU prepared a plan to produce 1 million shells for Ukraine and its stockpiles.
On May 23, EU Chief Diplomat Josep Borrell announced that since the beginning of the year, EU states have already provided more than one-fifth of the one million artillery rounds and missiles to Ukraine as part of an initiative to provide Ukraine with one million rounds.
On June 1, the European Parliament supported a bill to increase European production of ammunition and missiles to support the Ukrainian army.
On July 7, the Council of the European Union and the Parliament agreed on a draft regulation on the Ammunition Support Act (ASAP), which will increase the production of missiles and BCs.
On July 13, The European Parliament approved plans to increase the production of ammunition and missiles in the EU to overcome the current shortage due to supplies to Ukraine to help it defend itself against the Russian war aggression.