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The EU’s big push into military research presents questions for academics and institutions

One of the EU’s founding fathers, former French foreign minister Robert Schuman, hoped the Union would make war between its members “not only unthinkable but materially impossible”. The idea of the EU as a peace project remains, but now it sits alongside a multi-billion military research and investment programme planned for 2021-27.

The European Defence Fund will be the EU’s first fully-fledged defence R&D programme. The bloc’s general R&D programme is allowed to fund projects with military applications only if they are ‘dual use’, meaning they also have civilian applications. Although it was opposed by many left-wing MEPs in the European Parliament, the EDF easily won majority support overall. 

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