The EU on Tuesday announced up to 500 million euros in funding for defense projects, including the development of a “Eurodrone”.
The European Commission, the bloc’s executive, said 100 million euros was earmarked for the proposed drone as the bloc seeks to reduce its dependency on US technology.
Brussels is stepping up efforts to rationalize Europe’s spending on new military equipment to make it more cost-effective and reduce waste.
“With the EU investments we are launching today, we are going from ideas to concrete projects, we are strengthening the competitiveness of our defense industries,” Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said.
The commission will soon invite proposals for projects in five priority areas, with over 180 million euros on offer for intelligence, secure communications and cyber and 5.7 million for AI-enabled defense technology.
“Cooperation in defense is the only way to protect and defend Europeans in an increasingly instable world,” commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said.
“Joint projects are materializing. European Defense is happening.”
The commission has proposed a budget of 13 billion euros for defense for the period from 2021 to 2027.