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EU launches European Defense Fund

The European Commission has formally launched the first European Defense Fund (EDF), which aims to support the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the EU defense industry.

Updated Jul 01, 2021 06:57 AM

EU launches European Defense Fund

The EU is earmarking a total of 1.2 billion euros ($1.43 billion) of funding for the year 2021 in support of collaborative defense research and development projects, Xinhua news agency quoted an official statement as saying on Wednesday.

Under the EDF's precursor program, the European Defense Industry Development Program (EDIDP), 26 new projects with a budget of more than 158 million euros were selected for funding while two major capability development projects received a grant of 137 million euros on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton said that with the EU's first-ever dedicated defense program, European cooperation in defense will become the norm.

"Public authorities will spend better together, and companies - big or small - from all member states will benefit, resulting in more integrated European defense industrial value chains," he said.

The 1.2 billion euros will finance projects such as the next generation of aircraft fighters, tanks or ships, as well as critical defense technologies such as military cloud, AI, semiconductors, space, cyber or medical countermeasures, he said.

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