The EU Commission is boosting ammunition production in member countries with an additional support of 500 million euros. They want to supply Ukraine with one million artillery shells per year.
BRUSSELS The EU Commission has presented a law aimed at increasing the production of ammunition. The goal is to increase the EU’s production capacity and quickly deliver ammunition such as artillery shells to Ukraine.
Ammunition production is being tightened with a pot of 500 million euros, which is to be distributed to projects that strengthen the European defense industry and address production bottlenecks.
Commissioner responsible for the EU internal market by Thierry Breton according to Europe, there are eleven countries that have the conditions to increase the production of the 155- and 152-millimeter artillery shells that Ukraine needs.
According to the French commissioner, it is possible for the EU to increase its production if companies’ opportunities are used more efficiently.
However, this requires a shift towards a war economy. The EU plays an important role in supporting defense companies.
– We have to help them increase their industrial capacity, says Breton.
A million rounds a year
The Commission’s presentation complements the decisions made in the EU on the utilization of ammunition stockpiles for the benefit of Ukraine and joint procurement of ammunition. Two billion euros from the EU peace fund have been set aside for these projects.
The EU leaders meeting in March committed to deliver one million artillery shells to Ukraine over the next 12 months. According to Breton, the goal is realistic.
– I believe that we can increase production to a million rounds per year.
According to Breton, there are eleven countries in the EU that have the conditions to increase the production of artillery ammunition. According to him, the attitude towards increasing production is positive.
– All the countries I have spoken with have given a positive answer.
Production can be increased, for example, by utilizing existing capacity, modernizing production facilities and opening new lines.
France is key
The goal of donating artillery ammunition to Ukraine has sparked a debate about the adequacy of the EU’s own production. Among the member states, France in particular has demanded that ammunition purchases should be made from companies operating in the EU.
In turn, several other member states have emphasized that non-EU manufacturers should also be used in order to get the arms aid to Ukraine as quickly as possible.
Bretonin hopes that the Commission’s proposal could be approved as urgent before the summer.