Europe invites use of Pnrr to send weapons to Ukraine

The European Union is officially in a war economy. The last provision presented by the Commission is aimed at accelerating the production of arms, in particular ammunition, to supply Ukraine but also to replenish the stockpiles of the Twenty-seven that are emptying at a dizzying pace. The bill was baptized with the acronym ASAP to indicate “Act to Support Ammunition Production”, but also due to the common usage of the term meaning “as soon as possible”. Because time is a fundamental factor: the goal of the law is to reach the production capacity of one million rounds of ammunition per year, in one year. And for that, the European Commission puts 500 million euros on the table (260 from the European Defense Fund and 240 from the future joint procurement instrument, Edirpa, still to be approved). But the 500 million euros should lead to co-financing by the states of another 500 million out of a total of one billion. And this billion will be added to the billions of euros that will be allocated by the European Peace Fund for joint purchases of ammunition for Ukraine, which received the green light from EU ambassadors earlier today.

“With regard to defence, our industry must now enter war economy mode”, explained the commissioner for the internal market and industry, Thierry Breton, convinced of the need to “adapt to the needs of high-intensity conflicts”. . The proposal includes a tool to financially support the strengthening of ammunition production capacities in the Union industry, as well as a mechanism to map, monitor and anticipate ‘bottlenecks’ in supply chains. It introduces a temporary regulatory framework to deal with ammunition shortages. Exactly what, again, Breton had done during the most difficult phase of European production of vaccines against Covid. To further finance this economic effort, according to the Commission, the States can resort to the Cohesion Funds, the Regional Development Fund or the Fund for a Just Transition and can even include it in the amendments to the Pnrr. “It’s part of the goal of resilience,” explained Breton.

The possibility of using funds from the Pnrr to increase the production of ammunition for Ukraine for the war with Russia infuriates the leader of the M5S Giuseppe Conte: «No to escalation, Commissioner Breton says that ammunition can also be obtained with the Pnrr, never we will allow this”. Just yesterday, among other things, the Palazzo Chigi established the new mission structure for the Pnrr. the ambassadors gave the green light to the second axis of the strategy to increase the supply of ammunition to Ukraine: one billion joint purchases of ammunition and missiles produced by companies established in the EU (or Norway) and which produce in the EU (or Norway). In addition, ammunition and missiles that were assembled in the EU (or Norway) with partially non-European production chains are eligible. .

Source: IL Tempo