Commission initiatives for European defense - European Commission in DEFEA

March 10, 2023 - The European Commission is undertaking important initiatives for European defence in the wake of the critical geopolitical developments caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The destabilization in the east and the emerging security threats to the member states strike an alarm for the strengthening of the European defence industry.

The European Commission has several important tools for financing innovative defence programs and will present them at the international defence and security exhibition DEFEA which will take place on 9-11 May 2023 in Athens. In fact, for the first time, the European Commission will participate with its own stand at DEFEA, highlighting the upgraded role of Greece as a pillar of security and stability in the wider region of Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

Representatives of the European Commission's Directorate General for Defense Industry and Space (DEFIS) will be in Athens to present the initiatives and financial opportunities provided by the Commission through the European Defence Fund (EDF) and the Defence Innovation Scheme (EDIS) and share details regarding the Call for Proposals and the numerous advantages of being part of the European programs. Beyond the stand, the Commission will participate in round table discussion and deliver targeted presentations.

Defence Investments

The focus will around the European Defence Fund (EDF), an €8 billion collaborative Research and Development program that promotes industrial competitiveness and interoperability across Europe. The objective of the Fund (EDF) is the development of the defence capabilities of the EU through innovative technologies and the creation of next-gen defence systems with the greatest possible participation of small and medium-sized enterprises of the member states.

It is worth noting that during 2021 Call for Proposals, EDF funded 60 collaborative defence programs while almost half of the participants were small and medium-sized enterprises.

In the context of DEFEA, the EU Defence Innovation Scheme (EDIS) program, which is under the umbrella of the European Defence Fund (EDF), will also be presented. This is a €2 billion Commission initiative that aims to attract companies from the civil sector who focus in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, 5G networks, technologies that will play a leading role in development of future defence systems.

Strategic Compass

Commission's goal remains the defence autonomy of the EU through the strengthening of the European defence industry. After all, the priorities have been agreed by the member states and constitute the road map of the European Union, also known as the Strategic Compass.

EU is facing the rapidly changing environment of complex threats as well as the ongoing pressure in the east as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine that leave no room for complacency but call for brave interventions with the ultimate goal of developing the Union's defence capabilities on land, air, sea, space and cyberspace.

The European Commission's stand will be located in Hall 3, booth B34, and visitors will have the opportunity to participate in presentations and get in touch with Commission experts, who will answer questions about the financial programs.