EU presents first defence industrial strategy with strong involvement of Ukraine

Tuesday, 5 March 2024

The first-ever European Defence Industrial Strategy at EU level, which envisions close involvement of Ukraine, was presented by the European Commission on 5 March.

The European Defence Industrial Strategy (EDIS) establishes a clear, long-term vision for achieving defence-industrial readiness in the European Union.

As the first immediate and primary means of implementing the strategy, the European Commission introduces legislative proposals for the European Defence Industry Programme (EDIP) and a framework of measures to ensure the timely availability and supply of defence products.

The strategy outlines the challenges currently faced by the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) and identifies opportunities for fully leveraging its potential, setting the direction for development over the next decade.


To support member states in achieving these goals, the EDIS proposes a set of measures aimed at:

  • Supporting a more efficient expression of the Member States' collective defence demand;
  • Securing the availability of all defence products through a more responsive EDTIB, under any circumstances and time horizon;
  • Ensuring that national and EU budgets support with the necessary means the adaptation of the European defence industry to the new security context;
  • Mainstreaming a defence readiness culture across policies, notably by calling for a review of the European Investment Bank's lending policy this year;
  • Developing closer ties with Ukraine through its participation in Union initiatives in support of defence industry and stimulating cooperation between the EU and Ukrainian defence industries;
  • Teaming up with NATO and our strategic, like-minded and international partners, and cooperating more closely with Ukraine.

The strategy establishes indicators to measure member states' progress in achieving industrial readiness. Member states are encouraged to:

  • Procure at least 40% of defence equipment in a collaborative manner by 2030;
  • Ensure that, by 2030, the value of intra-EU defence trade represents at least 35% of the value of the EU defence market;
  • Make steady progress towards procuring at least 50% of their defence procurement budget within the EU by 2030 and 60% by 2035.

The US is discussing creating a separate position for a commissioner for defence affairs.

The Czech initiative to procure 800,000 shells for Ukraine outside the EU, which is financed jointly by a number of states, will be able to make first deliveries to Kyiv in a few weeks.

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