A new deal between EU institutions could mean “more ammunition” being freed for Ukraine.
This comes after negotiators from the European Parliament and the Member States agreed on the initiative to increase the ammunition production capacity of the European defence industry (the so-called ‘ASAP’ package), which will also be to the benefit of Ukraine.
The move was welcomed by Jerzy Buzek MEP, who negotiated the initiative for the EPP Group.
The veteran Polish MEP said, “This night we delivered – in record speed – unprecedented legislation of strategic importance for Ukraine’s counter-offensive, the lives of the heroic Ukrainian civilians and soldiers, as well as strengthening the EU’s security with help for our own defence industry.”
“It was crucial for us in the European Parliament to secure that this fund would provide financial support to the best projects – big and small – across the whole European Union. Moreover, we managed to secure priority treatment for the SMEs and mid-caps, which was key for the EPP Group. In addition, raw materials and components producers (e.g. powder for ammunition) will be granted special incentive”, said Buzek.”
Fellow EPP Group MEP Michael Gahler, who leads the EPP Group in the Foreign Affairs Committee, said: “It has been almost 500 days now that the Ukrainian people have been fighting bravely against Russia’s brutal aggression. It is imperative that we enable them to make that fight a success, also for the sake of our own security.”
“The agreement on ASAP is an important step to ensure our support for Ukraine. Nevertheless, it is regrettable that it comes at the expense of other already underfunded defence instruments. Facing a war on European soil, we can no longer afford to neglect our defence as we have done over the last three decades. We urgently need to adapt our budgetary priorities,” he said.
The agreement will be subject to a vote in Parliament’s Industry Committee next Monday and subsequently in plenary next week in Strasbourg.