Yesterday the European Defence Agency (EDA) published its annual Defence Data 2018 report. The report details spending by the 27 EDA member states. According to this data total defence expenditure stands at €223 billion (€225 billion in 2007), representing a 3% increase on 2017. This level of spending represents 1.4% of GDP and 3.1% of total government expenditure.
Defence budgets are still below 2010 investment levels. EDA’s report also finds that member states are not meeting spending commitments in key areas.
“Despite the rise in total defence expenditure, spending on fulfilling collective benchmarks has failed to keep pace,” EDA announced. “Spending on areas where collective benchmarks have been agreed namely: Defence Investment; Defence Research and Technology; European Collaborative Defence Equipment Procurement; and European Collaborative Defence R&T all still remain below 2008 levels.”
EDA’s report provides detailed analysis of how current spending relates to these four collective benchmarks agreed at the EDA Steering Board in 2007, as follows:
€44.5 billion on defence investment (procurement of new equipment and R&D), representing 19.9% of total defence expenditure against a collective benchmark of 20%.
€6.4 billion on European collaborative defence equipment procurement, representing 17.8% of total defence equipment procurement against a collective benchmark of 35%.
€2.1 billion on defence research and technology, totalling 0.9% of total defence expenditure against a collective benchmark of 2%.
€153 million on European collaborative defence R&T, totalling 7.3% of total defence R&T against a collective benchmark of 20%.