MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The European Commission has proposed to increase EU security spending by nearly 30 percent, from 3.5 billion euros ($4.1 billion) to 4.8 billion euros, for the 2021-2027 budget period to counter growing security threats, the Commission said in a press release on Wednesday.
“For the next long-term EU budget for 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing to substantially increase the current security funding – from €3.5 billion to €4.8 billion,” the press release said.
According to the press release, 2.5 billion euros of the funding could go toward reinforcing the EU Internal Security Fund (ISF), 1.2 billion euros toward ensuring a safer decommissioning of nuclear activities in some of the EU states, and the remaining 1.1 billion euros toward EU security agencies.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has proclaimed security as one of the priorities in his Political Guidelines for the next European Commission in 2014, when he assumed office. The current EU long-term budget period, which began in 2014, is set to end in 2020. In 2019, the European Union is expected to adopt its next long-term budget for the 2021-2027 period.
Meanwhile, German Defense Minister Heiko Maas has expressed support for French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal for a European military intervention force.
Macron laid out his plan for EU reforms in September 2017, suggesting that the European Union should have a joint intervention force. However, the proposed force, known as the European Intervention Initiative, would stay separate from other EU defense cooperation programs such as PESCO.
A joint EU program called Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) was adopted by the Council of the European Union in March. It foresees the possibility of a number of EU member states working more closely together in the area of security and defense in a binding and permanent framework. The program consists of 17 projects involving 25 countries.