EU to boost joint defence spending

Trump shocked longtime NATO allies in Europe when he suggested on the campaign trail be would think twice about coming to their aid if they had not paid their defence dues.

EU to boost joint defence spending

World Bulletin / News Desk

The EU unveiled ambitious plans Wednesday to boost joint defence spending including on shared assets like drones and helicopters, as concerns grow that President-elect Donald Trump may downgrade the US security commitment.

That prospect, combined with the Ukraine and migrant crises plus nuclear-armed Britain's shock vote to quit the European Union, have moved security sharply up the bloc's agenda.

"If Europe does not take care of its own security, nobody else will do it for us," European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement as the plans were announced.

"A strong, competitive and innovative defence industrial base is what will give us strategic autonomy," said Juncker, who has long pushed for a more active EU military role and ultimately what he calls a "European Army".

To stand on its own two feet, the EU "must invest in the common development of technologies and equipment of strategic importance -- from land, air, sea and space capabilities to cyber security," he said. 

What is known as the European Defence Action Plan targets more efficient defence spending and increased joint research and procurement.

Last Mod: 30 Kasım 2016, 15:04
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