European Council President: Europe Needs Real "Defence Union" and Protected Ukraine
President of the European Council Charles Michel said that it is time to create a real defence union in Europe, combined with a real single defence market.
He said this at the annual conference of the European Defence Agency, The Guardian reports.
Michel pointed out that Europe should focus on two goals. "First, our support is our ironclad military support for the people of Ukraine. Because the security of Ukraine is our security, it is all our security. And secondly, I repeat once again, we must make our European defence stronger now, tomorrow and in the future," Michel said.
The President of the European Council noted the unprecedented assistance provided by Europe to Ukraine and stressed that more needs to be done and faster: more missiles, more ammunition, more air defence systems.
Michel called increasing aid to Kyiv a duty to the Ukrainian people and to European citizens. In addition, he called for more effective coordination of European defence spending, as well as a stronger role for the European Defence Agency and increased funding for the defence industry.
"By defending Ukraine, we are defending ourselves, and our continued strong military support also sends a message to our partners, especially our American allies - a clear signal that we take our security more seriously than ever," Michel concluded.
At the same time, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the EU should take Ukraine's military needs into account when determining the future strategy of the EU defence industry.
Next year, the EU defence industry should meet the target of increasing its ammunition production capacity to 1 million rounds per year, von der Leyen added.
This goal is not related to the EU's plan to provide Ukraine with 1 million artillery shells and missiles within a year, a goal that German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius and other officials say is unlikely to be achieved.
As a reminder, Latvian President Edgars Rinkēvičs believes that the EU should postpone the sale of ammunition to third countries in order to provide it to Ukraine.