It proposes an initial Preparatory Action (PA) plan, to be launched immediately with a budget of 100 million euros, which will pave the way for a fully-fledged EU-funded Defence Research Programme (EDRP) to begin in 2021.
The report states: “The PA and the EDRP should act as a catalyst for European cooperation in key capability areas, breaking down the barriers and overcoming the disincentives to cooperation that exist today.
“Effective coordination must ensure that the PA as well as the ensuing EDRP complements and supplements other research activities at the European, national or NATO levels, and does not lead to duplicated efforts at any level.”
The authors argue setting up an EU defence project is of “critical importance for Europe’s long-term security” and add that it needs a gargantuan 3.5 billion euro budget “in order to be credible and make a substantial difference”.
They recommend setting up a European Defence Advisory Board, of which they would all be members, adding that they want “direct access to the highest level of the EU institutions” so they can “play an active part in the definition of a long-term European military capabilities blueprint, building on the ongoing debate about a possible European defence ‘White Book'”.