EU-Ukraine Defence Industries Forum bolsters cooperation between Ukrainian and European defence industries
May 7, 2024

EU-Ukraine Defence Industries Forum bolsters cooperation between Ukrainian and European defence industries

On 6 May, the first EU-Ukraine Defence industries Forum took place in Brussels.

The event was hosted by EU High Representative Josep Borrell and European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton, together with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, and Minister of Strategic Industries Oleksandr Kamyshin, with support from the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU and the Aerospace, Security and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD).

The Forum focused on strengthening defence industrial cooperation between the EU and Ukraine, in view of providing sustained military support to Ukraine, also over the long term, and better addressing Ukrainian defence and industrial needs. It gathered over 400 representatives from governments, EU and Ukrainian defence industries, industry associations and key partner countries and organisations, as well as EU institutions. 

The Forum included a High-Level Conference and a business matchmaking segment, which offered a platform for concrete business-to-business cooperation, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The EU-Ukraine Defence Industries Forum is a first, concrete step in the implementation of the European Defence Industrial Strategy (EDIS), launched in March 2024. The Forum opens the way to identify concrete cooperation initiatives, arrangements and flagship projects between the EU and Ukraine defence industries, through joint ventures for example. This will promote closer cooperation between defence companies, and the progressive integration of the Ukrainian industry in the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB), also in view of Ukraine’s accession process to the EU.

“We will continue to support the security of Ukraine and Ukrainians in their fight against Russia’s aggression. We are committed to whatever it takes. This is also about European security,” Josep Borrell wrote on X platform after the meeting.

Financial support is key, he added: “We established the Ukraine Assistance Fund with an envelope of €5 billion within the European Peace Facility. My firm intention is that we move as the EU to channel the profits from Russian assets to address military needs and support the defence industry of Ukraine.”

The EU has already proposed to support joint procurement from the European defence industry (and Norway) and encourages procurement through joint ventures between the European and Ukrainian defence industry. The EU is also working towards the set up of an EU innovation office in Kyiv.

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