The launch of the European Defence Fund is a big step forward in enhancing EU defence cooperation

As the rapporteur for the European Defence Union report, I find the launch of the European Defence Fund as an important and indispensable step in enhancing the European defence cooperation.

Because of the current geopolitical situation, the EU has to take rapid and decisive steps in order to protect itself and its citizens. My report on the European Defence Union was adopted last year in November. I am glad to see that now the EU is already making concrete budgetary decisions so that a stronger defence cooperation can become a reality.

At the same time, we all know that there is still resistance to increased military spending in Europe. Stronger defence cooperation can work successfully if all member states give their full support.

In November 2016, the European Parliament adopted the European Defence Union report, which was based on the principle that a strong European defence policy could also complement NATO and would greatly contribute to Europe’s security. Today the European Commission presented a reflection paper setting out possible scenarios for the future in the area of European defence and launched the European Defence Fund.