Von der Leyen says European Commission will seek to boost defence production – FT

By Thomson Reuters Feb 15, 2024 | 3:31 PM

(Reuters) – Brussels should incentivise Europe’s defence industry to ramp up production and promote consolidation, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the Financial Times in an interview on Thursday, warning that the “world has got rougher”.

Proposals in the commission’s plan include using the EU budget to increase financing to supplement joint contracts for weapons signed by member states, as well as guaranteeing that production will be bought, EU officials told FT.

“We have a very fragmented defence market and that needs to change,” FT quoted von der Leyen as saying. “What is the competence of the commission? It’s industry. This is our core business. We are an enabler, not a buyer.”

(Reporting by Disha Mishra in Bengaluru)