Roadmap on security and defence technologies

EESC opinion: Roadmap on security and defence technologies

Practical information

  1. Composition of the study group
  2. Administrator / Assistant in charge: Gaëlle MICHELIER / Anna Laura MASCAGNI
  3. Contact

Gist of the Commission document

The roadmap on critical technologies for security and defence is part of a number of Commission-led initiatives in areas critical for defence and security within the European Union It is a concrete step towards a more integrated and competitive European defence market, particularly by enhancing cooperation within the EU, thereby building scale, mastering costs and enhancing operational effectiveness. The Commission thus provides input in the run-up to the EU Strategic Compass on Security and Defence.

The Commission has, in particular, identified the following main new areas to further strengthen the competitiveness of the European defence market:

  • explore how to further stimulate Member States investments in key strategic capabilities and critical enablers that are developed and/or procured in European Union cooperative frameworks;
  • further incentivise the joint procurement of defence capabilities developed in a collaborative way within the EU;
  • call upon Member States to continue moving towards streamlined and more convergent arms exports control practices, in particular for defence capabilities developed in an EU cooperative framework.

The Roadmap on critical technologies for security and defence outlines a path to enhance the competitiveness and resilience of the EU security and defence sectors by:

  • inviting Member States to contribute actively to the Observatory of critical technologies currently being established;
  • encouraging dual-use research and innovation at EU level;
  • inviting Member States to develop an EU-wide coordinated approach to critical technologies in the context of the Strategic Compass;
  • supporting security and defence innovation and entrepreneurship through a number of new tools (e.g. incubator, investment blending facility, etc.);
  • creating, together with the European Defence Agency, an EU Defence Innovation Scheme to bring their respective efforts under one umbrella;
  • assessing security and defence considerations more systematically, as appropriate, when implementing and reviewing existing or designing new EU industrial and trade instruments, in order to reduce strategic dependencies.

Reducing the identified dependencies in critical technologies and value chains is another important aspect of the Roadmap. In this perspective, the Commission proposes to embed defence considerations in major EU industrial and technology initiatives (e.g. Alliances, standards), protect EU security and defence interests when procuring critical infrastructure (in particular in the digital domain) and reinforce the Foreign Direct investment screening by encouraging all remaining Member States to set up a national screening mechanism.

Next steps

Finally, the Commission announces actions to be launched and implemented in the upcoming years. The Commission remains ready to consider additional steps forward in the light of progress made and the evolution of the threats and challenges the Union faces in the future.