Investing in European Defence



“With the return of war to European soil, all of us in Europe must contribute more actively to taking responsibility for our own security” – so said High Representative and Head of EDA Josep Borrell in April. Like World War II, and the Balkan wars of the 1990s, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 has shown that the poison of conflict can still cause great suffering and damage on the European continent.

Even if Russian President Vladimir Putin has overestimated his capabilities in Ukraine, EU governments and their armed forces must come together to prepare for a long fight after decades of indecision and duplication. The Union’s moment to strengthen a fractured EU defence industry is surely now. And the tools and platforms are there. Defence collaboration is the quiet success story of the EU, gathering momentum and expertise. The European Defence Agency (EDA) has grown into the prime EU hub for defence planning. The Agency’s intergovernmental nature means it is ideal for shaping European capability development.

In the following pages, we hear from decisionmakers, industry and a defence expert on how Europe could do more for Ukraine, be better able to provide for its own security and grow less reliant on the United States.

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