EU mulling cutting Ukraine's aid fund in half for repurposing – Euractiv

19.04.2023, 13:10
EU mulling cutting Ukraine's aid fund in half for repurposing – Euractiv - Photo
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The European commission is considering halving its EUR 500 million joint defence procurement fund for Ukraine, focusing instead on modernising Europe’s defence industry, Euractiv reported on Wednesday, citing EU sources.

The EU executive proposed the initiative, dubbed EDIRPA, last July. It seeks to incentivise urgent joint procurement of weapons by EU member states to replenish their stockpiles and continue military support to Ukraine.

The current proposal includes a EUR 500 million budget for two years.

The European commission’s idea is to cut the fund in half to EUR 250 million over one year due to several issues, in particular delays in negotiations and "the proposal of new ideas to respond to the urgent supply needs," Euractiv reports.

Several EU officials told the publication that the programme "will fail to meet its main objective" of urgently replenishing stocks and supply of weapons to Kyiv.

In addition, as Kyiv’s needs "remain acute" but now mainly focused on ammunition, EU member states agreed to send and jointly procure EUR 4 billion worth of ammunition last month – even though the plan does not meet the legal requirements that EDIRPA could have.

The freed-up €250 million from EDIRPA could be redirected into the European Defence Investment Programme (EDIP) to increase defence production in the long term, several EU sources told Euractiv, with the plan likely to be announced towards the last quarter of the year.

The Commission "is investigating the full spectrum of the possible measures to support such a ramp up, both in terms of instruments and substantive measures", one source added.

Earlier this month, the EU Council allocated EUR 1 billion for ammunition for Ukraine.

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