Through the voice of its Commissioner for Industrial, Digital, Home and Defense Affairs, Thierry Breton, the new European Commission of Ursula Van der Leyen has defined significant ambitions in terms of strengthening European Defense and continental industrial capacities in this area. However, the failure of the summit of heads of state of the Union on February 21 to agree on a new budget for the period 2021-2027 shows the limits of these ambitions, if these were to be based solely on cooperation and funding channels, like the European Defense Fund, and the permanent structured cooperation or PESCO.
However, the European Union could implement directives that would very significantly increase the funding capacities of its member states to support the overall defense effort, and therefore reduce dependence on US protection at least.in terms of conventional forces, since the hypothesis of a extended French nuclear umbrella seems to appeal to no one in Europe. To do this, it would be necessary to move away from the classic budgetary conception applied for decades, and to show less conservatism and more flexibility, without renouncing the objectives of controlling European deficits. This new approach, inherited from the Positive Valuation Defense doctrine, is based on two complementary measures:
Exit defense technological and industrial investment from the state budget balance
The first measure, long demanded by France and in particular by Michel Rocard when he was Prime Minister of François Mitterand, would consist of taking out research and development spending as well as equipment spending from the budget balance used to calculate the deficit. annual budget, and therefore compliance with the rule of 3% maximum public deficits imposed by the monetary stability pact of the single currency.
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