The European Defence Fund: Key Issues and Controversies

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Raluca Csernatoni
Bruno Oliveira Martins

Policy Brief: Csernatoni, Raluca & Bruno Oliveira Martins (2019) The European Defence Fund: Key Issues and Controversies, PRIO Policy Brief, 3. Oslo: PRIO, https://www.prio.org/Publications/Publication/?x=11332.

The recently-launched European Defence Fund (EDF) is a ground-breaking investment in the areas of security and defence and holds the potential to fundamentally challenge the nature of the European Union (EU) as a peace project. Proponents of the EDF frame the initiative as crucial to European security in an age of increasing political instability and rapid technological change. As such, the EDF is framed as a much-needed catalyst for scaling up the EU’s defence by conferring strategic autonomy to Europe, and overhauling a lagging European Defence Technological and Industrial Base. To achieve these goals, the EDF stresses the need to optimise strategic value for money by funding cutting-edge research and innovation and by fostering the development of interoperable defence capabilities. However, the EDF also raises important questions about EU’s political priorities, output legitimacy, and security and defence governance.