Advertisement

European Union reaches deal to make it easier for countries to jointly buy weapons

A flag of the European Union flies on the Acropolis Hill, across the Parthenon, in Athens, Greece, on June 22, 2018. Two branches of the EU passed a new law to make it easier for members to make joint weapons purchases. File Photo by Orestis Panagiotou/EPA-EFE
A flag of the European Union flies on the Acropolis Hill, across the Parthenon, in Athens, Greece, on June 22, 2018. Two branches of the EU passed a new law to make it easier for members to make joint weapons purchases. File Photo by Orestis Panagiotou/EPA-EFE

June 28 (UPI) -- Two branches of the European Union agreed late Tuesday to a plan to smooth out the path that will allow member states to purchase military weapons together more easily.

The European Parliament and European Council reached a deal on new rules to incentivize members to make defense product purchases together to support its defense industry.

Advertisement

In a time when the multi-member organization is keeping a weary eye on Russia's invasion of Ukraine while offering military support to Kyiv, the deal to swiftly make joint defense purchases has taken on a new urgency.

The legislation will allow groups of at least three countries to jointly procure defense materiel and get some of the money back from the EU budget. There will be some restrictions to ensure foreign contractors outside the EU aren't overly benefiting from the arrangement.

"If Russia's brutal war against Ukraine taught us one thing, it is that we are not prepared to defend ourselves," Michael Gahler, of the EU's foreign affairs committee, said in a statement. "We can no longer afford to ignore that and we need to remedy that situation together as we should have done already much earlier."

Advertisement

European Parliament and European Council negotiators agreed on a budget of nearly $328 million to finance the implementation of the plan. The European Union will contribute up to 20% to each purchase of the estimated value of the common procurement contract.

"We reached a reasonable compromise on this important file. The EP managed to achieve its main objectives, including securing a higher budget for the instrument, while preserving the financing of the equally important Act in Support of Ammunition Production," Zdzislaw Krasnodebski, of the EU's Industry, Research and Energy Committee, said.

"Such outcome guarantees that both programs will ultimately meet the expectations attached to them in the difficult geopolitical circumstances we are currently facing."

Latest Headlines