Skip to content
Edit post

Reuters: EU to propose switching European arms industry to 'war economy mode'

by Martin Fornusek March 5, 2024 10:03 AM 2 min read
EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton.
EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton at the French Presidential Elysee Palace for a lunch following the national tribute ceremony for the late former French minister in Paris, France, on Jan. 5, 2024. (Daniel Pier/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

The European Commission on March 5 will propose ways to boost the European defense industry and shift it to a "war economy mode" in response to Russia's war on Ukraine, Reuters reported, citing EU officials.

European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton will present specific proposals to the bloc's members to jointly buy from European arms companies and increase the production capacities of these firms, according to the officials.

The news comes amid worries in the EU that the U.S. may not be a reliable partner for European security and in backing Ukraine if Donald Trump wins the upcoming presidential election.

"We need to change the paradigm and move into war economy mode. This also means that the European defense industry must take more risks, with our support," Breton commented.

"In the current geopolitical context, Europe must take greater responsibility for its own security, regardless of the outcome of our allies' elections every four years."

Trump sparked outrage at home and abroad when he said he would encourage Russia to do "whatever the hell they want" to NATO members who do not reach the 2% defense spending mark.

While U.S. President Joe Biden called Trump's remarks "dangerous" and "un-American," the comments prompted talks among European officials on the need for self-reliance in security matters.

Join our community
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Support us

The performance of the European defense industry, especially when it comes to supporting Ukraine, has been lackluster, as the EU failed on its promise to deliver 1 million artillery shells between March 2023 and 2024. After supplying only about half of the promised rounds, Brussels shifted the deadline to the end of this year.

One of Breton's proposals included compelling European arms companies to prioritize European orders in times of crisis or setting up a European version of the U.S. Foreign Military Sales scheme, which helps other governments buy from American companies, Reuters wrote.

The commissioner will reportedly propose a financing package of 1.5 billion euros ($1.63 billion) through the end of 2027, which will, however, create a legal framework for further contributions. In January, Breton proposed a 100 billion euro ($108 billion) fund to boost European defense production.

EU officials told Reuters that they want to include Ukraine in the procurement scheme to jointly support production capacity.

"Our mission here is to treat Ukraine as almost equivalent to a member state," an unnamed official said.

The proposals would have to be approved by all 27 member states and by the European Parliament.

Opinion: Will Europe ever get serious about defense?
“Words, words, just words,” sighed one VIP attendee at the Munich Security Conference as representatives of three European Union member states discussed security cooperation. “China will get the message: ‘No need to worry about us here,’” said another about the signals being sent from Bavar…
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
10:26 PM

Senate Democrats back Johnson's foreign aid bills.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on April 19 that Senate Democrats will support House Speaker Mike Johnson's series of bills that includes aid for Ukraine, Israel, and other priorities if they pass the House.
10:01 PM

Russian attack on Kherson kills 80-year-old woman.

In a post on Telegram, the head of the city's military administration, Roman Mrochko, said the victim was walking the streets when she was hit in an attack launched from the occupied east bank of Kherson.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.