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Commission plans big spending on military R&D

The European Commission has set out a proposal for future EU defence cooperation, including a €5.5-billion annual fund for R&D and procurement.

The Commission’s vision for the future direction of defence cooperation in the EU was set out in a high-profile ‘reflection paper’ it published today. The paper included plans for a European Defence Fund intended to bring about more efficient spending by member states on joint defence activities.

The proposed fund would have two strands, one for research and another for technology development and acquisition. As previously announced, the research part of the fund would have a budget of €500 million annually from 2020. In a new development, the Commission implied this would be separate from the general research Framework programme, referring to it as a “dedicated EU defence research programme”.

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