France and the European Union have entered “a war economy in which (…) we will have to organize ourselves for a long time”, said Emmanuel Macron on Monday, June 13 at Eurosatory, the largest international defense and ground and air safety. In this context, “I have asked the Minister [of the Armed Forces] and the Chief of the Defense Staff to be able to carry out a reassessment of this military programming law in the light of the geopolitical context in the coming weeks”, including the war in Ukraine, he said. The president did not specify whether he intended to increase the defense budget more than planned or whether it was a question of reviewing priorities.
He also called for the strengthening of the European defense industry which must be “much stronger” in view of the increased military needs with the war in Ukraine. “Spending a lot to buy elsewhere is not a good idea. (…) We need to strengthen a much stronger and much more demanding European defense industry and industrial and technological base,” he said, as many European countries announced their desire to increase their budget. defense. Otherwise, “we will build the outbuildings of tomorrow”, he warned, reiterating a call already launched upon his arrival at the Elysée in 2017.
Fifty billion budget for defense by 2025
Emmanuel Macron began in 2017 a sharp rise in defense credits after years of scarcity. The budget of the Ministry of the Armed Forces will increase again in 2022, to 40.9 billion euros, in accordance with the 2019-2025 military programming law which plans to reach 50 billion euros in 2025. not wait for strategic changes to reinvest,” recalled the Head of State. But the rise in threats, illustrated by the conflict that has been raging in Ukraine since February 24, poses an “additional requirement to go faster, stronger, at the lowest cost”.
“We still have a lot to do to adapt to the profound transformations we are going through. And, for anyone who doubts the urgency of these efforts, it suffices to look once again to Ukraine, whose soldiers are demanding quality armament and who are entitled to an answer there too from us.” Mr. Macron insisted. “We will make the investment decisions and we will have the requirements that go with it,” he concluded.
Requisition materials or civilian enterprises
Many of the ongoing armament program cooperations in Europe are slipping, starting with the projects for the future aircraft (Scaf) and the future combat tank (MGCS) led by France and Germany. “Let’s build this base of sovereignty, of European independence, French if we can – with partnerships that I want around the world, and I see a lot of non-Europeans here (…) I like to build the partnerships that I choose , I don’t like the dependencies that we have massively and methodically sometimes prepared, ”added Emmanuel Macron.
According to information from Le Monde, the Directorate General of Armaments also plans to propose a legislative text which would make it possible to requisition, in certain circumstances, materials or civilian companies for military purposes. Since most defense companies are “dual”, i.e. also producing for civilian needs, this text, inspired by American legislation, would allow them to mobilize their efforts towards military production, without France is formally in a state of war.