The European Union needs to set up a $109.8 billion fund for defense industry cooperation in the region, according to Thierry Breton, the bloc’s internal market commissioner.
At an event hosted by Renew Europe on Tuesday, Breton said the defense fund will accelerate the EU’s weapons procurement effort.
He added that the massive defense spending budget, which requires approval from the European Council, should encourage EU member states to increase their domestic arms and ammunition production.
Breton noted that EU leaders will hold a summit in early February to discuss the defense issues in the region.
Ahead of the meeting, the commissioner stressed that the union is on track to produce 1 million artillery shells by March or April and ship them to Ukraine.
The target will be met by reducing ammo exports to non-EU countries and ensuring that EU states ramp up their weapons production, the Frenchman explained.
Breton offered the projection even as German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius expressed serious doubts in November that the target was achievable.