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It is time to deliver, not to plan again:EU Defence Package

BRUSSELS: “There are many right proposals. The point is that we don’t lack plans but we have a deficit in implementing already-agreed decisions”, said Michael Gahler MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on Security and Defence, commenting on the Defence Action Plan presented today by the European Commission.

Michael Gahler said he was disillusioned about the European Defence Action Plan which “warms up old and well-known subjects out of the inventory which are already or shall be in the process of implementation.”

“Instead of representing in general terms the known idea on EU defence research, the plan missed an opportunity to present specific communication on the nature and scope of the intended programme. That’s what the European Parliament continues to ask for”, he said. “Until now, the European Commission, the European Defence Agency and the Member States have not yet fulfilled previous precise tasks which the European Council decided in 2013 and 2015. Where are the requested EU-wide system on security of supply, the Green Book on strategic defence assets, and the legally-binding civil-military hybrid standards?”

“For years we have been aware that the defence industry is a strategic industry which is confronted with an increasing number of challenges. Indeed, there was no need to restate this in another plan. Only new common armaments’ programmes will guarantee the survival of our defence industry”, continued Gahler. “Even the possible beneficiaries of an EU defence fund – the defence industries – remain sceptical. With the current low market interest rates there is no general problem in getting access to loans, but what is missing are cooperative programmes. The ongoing increases of national defence budgets need to be used exactly for this, instead of preserving existing fragmented market relations”, he concluded.

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