EU must develop ‘battle-winning’ weapons – Von der Leyen — RT World News

The European Commission president has urged member states to “stimulate” the bloc's arms manufacturing industry over the next five years

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called on EU member states to invest heavily in the defense industry. She added that these efforts must see the production of weapons that ensure their armies dominate the battlefield.

Von der Leyen also equated European security with continued support for Ukraine, which she said Brussels would continue to provide “As long as it takes.”

In her speech at the European People's Party conference in Bucharest, Romania, on Thursday, von der Leyen said that the bloc needs to… “It will turbo-charge our defense industrial capacity in the next five years.” This push will do, she added “Help us meet the urgent need to rebuild, renew and modernize the armed forces of member states.”

In doing so, Europe must strive to develop and manufacture the next generation of battle-winning operational capabilities. She said.

The Commission president's comments came after the EU's executive body presented its strategy to improve the bloc's defense industry on Tuesday. The document calls, among other things, for simplifying the arms procurement process between member states and reducing dependence on the US defense industry.

Speaking the next day to Politico, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also urged member states to up their game on cooperation. He pointed out that the bloc does not need a unified army, but rather must strive to ensure that the armed forces of its constituent countries “Working better together.”

During the Munich Security Conference last month, outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who has been described as a potential candidate to replace Jens Stoltenberg as NATO Secretary General this fall, urged European countries to spend more on defense and increase ammunition production. .

Last December, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag this He added: “We Europeans must increase our participation to ensure security on our continent.” The United States is expected to shift its focus to the Asia-Pacific region regardless of who wins the presidential elections.

Concerns about Washington's role in Europe have been exacerbated by recent statements by Republican candidate Donald Trump suggesting that the United States should not be expected to defend European allies who refuse to meet their military spending commitments to NATO.

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