The European Union needs a new operational program that will strengthen its defense industrial sector and prepare for future conflicts, according to Christian Moelling, head of the Center for Security and Defense at the German Council on Foreign Relations.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shown weaknesses in Europe’s capacity to produce military goods as allies scramble to supply Ukrainian soldiers with weapons and ammunition. While the bloc has adopted schemes such as the European Defence Fund, which aims to support research and development of warfighting technologies and capabilities, the production of military goods has not changed significantly.
In an opinion piece on Defense News, Moeller wrote that the EU will need to establish a new operational program that centers on the “further development of geopolitical and geo-economic considerations of the commission and the most important member states.”
According to the expert, securing the local supply is crucial in terms of war, especially as tension with China heightens. Local defense contractors would mitigate the impact of economic uncertainties on the capability of EU states to defend themselves against adversaries, he added.
American companies will also continue to play a role in the EU defense supply chain. In fact, Moelling expects U.S. industries to have a stronger presence in the European market. However, he asserted that the EU must forge a relationship with the United States that will allow both sides to “protect their industrial interests.”