According to Reuters, under a plan to be presented by the European Commission on Wednesday, the EU would give subsidies to European arms firms for investments that increase production of ammunition and missiles.
“When it comes to defence, our industry must now switch to war economy mode,” Thierry Breton, the commissioner for the EU’s internal market, said in remarks released before the official announcement.
The plan will need approval from EU governments and the European Parliament to become reality, writes Reuters.
The scheme is the third part of a broader EU effort to get more ammunition and arms to Ukraine, particularly 155 millimetre artillery shells, which Kyiv is pleading for as the fight against Russia’s invasion has become a war of attrition.
As part of the push to supply 1 million shells to Ukraine within 12 months, the EU has already agreed to set aside €1 billion ($1.10 billion) for ammunition and missiles that its members send to Ukraine from stockpiles. It has allocated another 1 billion euros for the joint procurement of such munitions – although that part of the plan has been held up by wrangling over the extent to which they should be produced in Europe, writes Reuters.
The latest element of the ammunition drive aims to give arms firms incentives to increase their production.
According to press agency, it would set aside €500 million from the EU budget to part-finance projects that increase capacity. It would also allow EU regional development cash, known as cohesion funds, and coronavirus pandemic recovery funds to be used for such projects.