The European defence industry makes a major contribution to the security and defence of European citizens. The sector includes a variety of industrial fields such as aeronautics, land and naval systems, and electronics.
The defence industry is a major industrial sector. The sector is highly innovative and centred on high-end engineering and technologies. Its cutting-edge research has created important knock-on effects in other sectors such as electronics, space, and civil aviation. It is a key sector for Europe’s ongoing development as a world leader in manufacturing and innovation. The sector:
The defence sector involves more than 1,350 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who are critically important to the supply chain. These SMEs are mostly concentrated in six EU countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom). However, companies producing ancillary equipment and systems are found all over Europe.
The European Commission is actively promoting the competitiveness of the European defence industry.
The key objective of the European Commission's defence industrial policy is to develop a competitive and innovative European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB). An EDTIB is important for an effective EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). This policy is designed to provide the EU with the capacity for autonomous action when responding to international crises, without prejudice to actions by NATO.
A competitive EDTIB is also required to provide Europe with the ability to affordably cooperate internationally in the development and production of defence equipment.
Read more on the role of the Commission