The European Parliament has taken a significant step in enhancing the defence industry and international relations with its first-ever joint procurement agreement for defence. Named the European Defence Industry Reinforcement through Common Procurement Agreement (EDIRPA), this project was initiated in response to the war in Ukraine.
Combating Fragmentation of Demand EDIRPA seeks to address the long-standing fragmentation of demand among EU member states, and aims to boost the competitiveness and efficiency of the EU's industrial defence base. Doing so seeks to expedite the industry's adaptation to structural changes, including scaling up manufacturing capacities.
Coordinated Procurement Actions Under this agreement, coordinated procurement will receive support from a consortium comprising at least three member states. Within this consortium, a designated procurement agents will take on the role of liaising with industry and overseeing procurement procedures.
Flexibility in Procurement Member states will have the flexibility to jointly procure critical products or independently declare the systems they wish to procure, allowing for tailored procurement processes. There is the opportunity to secure funding and additional support from the European Commission, for defence initiatives.
Addressing Decades of Underinvestment Recognising decades of underinvestment in defence, the EU has allocated 300 million euros to finance this instrument. EDIRPA represents a pivotal step in promoting the joint purchase of defence products among member states, and provides much-needed predictability and visibility to the defence industry, facilitating the rapid scaling up and acceleration of production capacities.
A Short-Term Instrument with Immediate Impact EDIRPA is specifically designed as a short-term instrument, focusing on procuring the most urgently required defence products in response to the war in Ukraine. This legislation was adopted on September 12th with strong support, receiving 530 votes, with only 66 votes against and 32 abstentions. It now awaits formal approval by the Council to become law.
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