what was at stake
green position
what we achieved
what we did not achieve

The impact of the financial crisis on the defence sector

Although military expenditure by the Member States has fallen since the start of the crisis, the corresponding budget cuts were not coordinated in any way.

Meanwhile, this expenditure remains inefficient despite the fact that the European Defence Agency (EDA) has a mandate to explore how to boost its efficiency.

For example, EU Member States are currently pursuing around 20 different projects to procure new armoured vehicles, without coordinating their efforts, and they want funds from the EU budget to finance their projects.


What was the Greens' position?

The Greens believe that the EU budget should not be squandered on military research, development and procurement, to which it has never been allocated in the past. Instead, it is crucial to restructure the sector to increase transparency, improve efficiency and fight corruption.

Better cooperation between Member States could lower overall military spending.

We want the Member States to adopt a 'pooling and sharing' approach as regards European military infrastructure, training and weapon systems.


Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?

The Greens only succeeded in watering down one paragraph on so-called 'offset agreements' in the arms trade.

Offset agreements entail one Member State buying arms from a company from another Member State, with the latter Member State agreeing to buy weapons from another company in the first Member State in return.

These offset deals may boost the trade balance of Member States buying arms, but they are highly inefficient and should not be considered as a form of coordination.


Which points did the Greens lose?

The Greens were unable to gain support for better cooperation, coordination, transparency and cost efficiency.

The S&D, ALDE and EPP all demanded that the EU budget be opened up for military spending, so that national agencies can even tap EU budgets for their own inefficient projects.


Procedure:Own-initiative procedure


Lead MEP:Krzysztof Lisek (EPP)

Green MEP responsible:Reinhard Bütikofer


Staff contact:Tobias Heider (Email)

Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?