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 Europe’s defence goals infographic
Graphic shows rise in European military spending and steps the European Commission is making to transform the bloc’s defence.


Europe’s defence goals

By Duncan Mil

May 2, 2023 - Russia’s attack on Ukraine has forced Europe -- still greatly dependent on the U.S. for security -- to boost military expenditure by the most since the end of the Cold War three dec­ades ago.

European nations have adopted a piecemeal approach to defence -- European armies have 17 types of main battle tanks and 20 different fighter aircraft, while the U.S. has one tank and six types of fighters. Europe depends on the U.S. for command and control, intelligence and surveillance, air transport and aerial refuelling.

Following Russia’s brutal war of aggression in Ukraine, Europe’s military spending rose from US$420.7 billion in 2021 to $480.3 billion last year -- a rise of 14.2 per cent, according to the think-tank Stock­holm Inter­na­tional Peace Research Insti­tute.

EU member states carry out more than 80% of defence procurement nationally. In 2021, the European Commission attempted to ramp up defence R&D spending through a new €8 billion European Defence Fund (EDF). The EDF supports research and development (R&D) in the defence industry. However, the Left in the European Parliament has been vocal against the EDF since its launch.

“Throwing billions into the arms industry is politically wrong, not least because this money could be used to tackle the economic, ecological, and social crisis. Instead, we’re developing equipment to fuel violence and war,” denounced MEP Özlem Demirel.

PUBLISHED: 02/05/2023; STORY: Graphic News