Yesterday the Commission adopted a package of decisions to support the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the EU defence industry. The adoption of the first annual work programme of the European Defence Fund (EDF) paves the way for the immediate launch of 23 calls for proposals totalling 1.2 billion euros in EU funding to support joint defence research and development projects. In addition, under the EDF Precursor Programme, the European Defence Industry Development Programme (EDIDP), 26 new projects with a budget of more than 158 million euros were selected for funding. In addition, two major capacity development projects received a direct grant of 137 million euros under EDIDP, ESSOR, the European Secure Software-defined Radio, and MALE RPAS, which is also known as Eurodrone.
During the first year, the EDF will co-finance large-scale and complex projects totalling 1.2 billion euros. To finance this ambitious roll-out, the 2021 EDF budget of 930 million euros was supplemented with a "top-up" of 290 million euros from the 2022 EDF budget. This will enable large-scale and ambitious capacity-building projects to be launched, while ensuring broad thematic coverage of other promising topics