Shaping Transatlantic Security: The EU’s Drive for a Stronger Defense Industry

| Apr. 22, 2024

Executive Summary

On March 05, 2024, the European Commission unveiled its first-ever European Defense Industry Strategy (EDIS). This announcement comes at an unprecedented moment in history:

  • In Ukraine, the situation remains a dire tactical stalemate, while belligerent Russia seems more threatening than ever to the European bloc.
  • In the US, despite the efforts of the Biden administration, aid to Ukraine stalled for months and remains a contentious issue in Congress.
  • Across Europe, EU Member States are trying to fill the gap in aid, but are struggling to supply Ukraine with the defense systems it urgently needs.
  • On February 10, at a rally in South Carolina, former President and presidential candidate Donald Trump cast doubt on whether he would defend or surrender to Russia any European country that would fail to achieve NATO’s 2%-of-GDP target for defense spending.

Europe must move from rhetoric to action to build stronger EU military capabilities. This paper examines this first step of EDIS through a transatlantic lens. 

  • The EDIS is the EU's latest addition to its developing defense strategy. Focusing on the European Defense Industrial Base, it aims at investing “more, better, together, and European”.
  • Reinforcing Europe’s military posture is critically needed in the long term to rebalance transatlantic defense. This will also allow both the EU and the US to face emerging threats in a concerted way, especially in a context whereAmerica’s strategic focus moves eastward toward the Indo-Pacific Region.
  • EU defense must be coordinated with NATO efforts. If properly devised, a stronger European Defense will not diminish transatlantic defense: it will strengthen it.
For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Meyer, Alexandre. “Shaping Transatlantic Security: The EU’s Drive for a Stronger Defense Industry.” Paper, April 22, 2024.

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