Our Proposals: European Defence Industrial Development Programme

Our Proposals: European Defence Industrial Development Programme

The first object on the agenda of Model European Union 2018 will be the regulation on the European Defence Industrial Development Programme, EDIDP for short.

Here is a short overview of the what and why you will need to know in order to successfully participate in the debates of #MEUM2018.

Why does it exist?

Officially called the „Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council establishing the European Defence Industrial Development Programme aiming at supporting the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the EU defence industry“, the legislative proposal sets out to create the basis for a more integrated European defence industry. In this, it follows the recent push of the European Commission for more European integration in the military and defence sector.

The European Defence Action Plan (EDAP) was published in late 2016 in order to outline the methods by which this goal was supposed to be achieved. A big part of the Commission’s plan has been the establishment of the so-called European Defence Fund (EDF). This fund is intended to consists of two parts; joint research and joint development. Of those two parts, the EDIDP comprises the latter.

How will it work?

The EDIDP is intended to be used to fund development projects of the European defence industry. In order to be eligible for funding, a project would have to be shared between at least two member states and the application for funding would have to be supported by the states themselves. Eligible projects would include those “defining common technical specifications, prototyping, testing, qualification and certification of new and updated defence products”.

How much will it cost?

First things first; the EDIDP is not intended to burst the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The €500 million assigned to the project until 2020 would come out of the combined budget of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the European Satellite Navigation Programmes (Galileo), the European Earth Observation Programme (Copernicus) and the ITER Programme. After 2020, the funding could be set considerably higher under the next MFF. While most projects would be funded completely by the EDIDP, only 20% of the cost would be provided for prototyping projects. 80% of those costs would have to be funded by the member states for which the project was admitted to the EDIDP.

Who might like it?

Obvious beneficiaries would be those member states with the biggest stakes in the defence industry. France, Germany and Italy would stand to gain most, but also Belgium, Poland and Sweden. The ultimate goal, however, has been constantly supported by most member states in the recent past: Fostering integration in the defence-sector in order to increase security has been a stated goal of the majority, especially with the increased unreliability of the United States as a partner in global security-strategy.

Who might not like it?

All states with a negligible stake in the defence industry would not gain much from the EDIDP besides the above-mentioned potential increase in integration and security. Other critical voices might come from those states who have plans to utilize the funding of the other programs from which the €500 million budget would be redistributed.

States with smaller players in the defence industry might also not be too happy about the proposal. Cooperation and joint research between various companies could well lead to high gains for those smaller ones. It is also entirely possible that the EDIDP would lead to an increased specialization of companies around one sub-sector of the industry and thus “weed out” the smaller competition.

What is unusual about it?

Contrary to the usual practice for legislative proposals in the European Union, no Impact Assessment was drafted before the introduction of the EDIDP. This means that there was no extensive, evidence-based ex-ante analysis of the potential economic, social and environmental consequences of the proposed text. This was necessary due to the short-term nature of the Commission’s plans based themselves on the urgent wishes within a majority of member states to increase European internal security quickly.

Where can I get more information?

To get the full text of the proposal visit this site and also look here for a more comprehensive overview of the intent, function and consequences as outlined by the European Commission. In order to get a more nuanced picture, it could be beneficiary to look for external analyses such as this one and the opinions of various stakeholders such as this one.

And of course, we will provide you with a more detailed description of the proposal in our Preparation Guide you will receive after we have officially accepted your application for #MEUM2018.

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