Money will fund research into unmanned aircraft, air-to-air refuelling and other projects.
It is understood that Brussels is finalising these as Britain removes a significant obstacle to increased defence co-operation among its members.
The Guardian reported here:
“The European Union is mulling a €1bn (£870m) defence fund, as Britain’s impending departure raises hopes of deeper military cooperation in the bloc. The EU’s executive arm will outline plans on Wednesday for a fund to pool research into new military technology, such as drones, air-to-air refuelling planes and cyber-defence systems.
In an implicit challenge to Britain as it heads for the EU exit, the European commission will say that no single EU country – not even the largest – can afford to develop the most costly military equipment alone. “The development of a new generation of many major defence systems is today beyond the reach of a single EU member state.”
The Financial Times say that when the union puts forward the plan, the European Commission will rely on treaty provisions that give Brussels the right to take “any useful initiative” to promote co-ordination between member states to promote the bloc’s industrial competitiveness.