On Thursday, Parliament backed a draft bill to increase European production of missiles and ammunition for Ukraine.
The Act in Support of Ammunition Production (ASAP) aims to accelerate the delivery of ammunition and missiles to Ukraine and to help member states restock their arsenals. By introducing targeted measures, including €500 million in financing, ASAP aims to ramp up the EU’s production capacity to address the current shortage of defence products, specifically ground-to-ground and artillery ammunition, missiles and their components.
The European Commission will identify, map, and continuously monitor the availability of these defence products, their components, and the corresponding raw materials inputs. The proposal establishes mechanisms, principles, and temporary rules to secure the timely and lasting availability of these defence products for their buyers within the European Union.
The effectiveness of this regulation will be evaluated by mid-2024, taking into account the evolution of the security context. Based on the results, the extension of these measures and the allocation of additional budget may be considered.
The EP’s negotiating team leader Cristian Bușoi (EPP, RO) said: “Today’s decision marks a significant step forward for the security and defence of our Union, and particularly in our steadfast support of Ukraine in the face of the ongoing Russian aggression. It will boost our capacity to respond to security challenges. It is a victory for Europe and for our collective security. Parliament is now ready to negotiate with Council and we hope to reach an agreement as soon as possible.”
The legislation was adopted with 446 votes to 67, with 112 abstentions. MEPs will now start negotiations with Council, with the aim of reaching a political agreement, which MEPs would then vote on in plenary in July.
In parallel, MEPs are working on the European Defence Industrial Reinforcement through the common Procurement Act (EDIRPA) to support collaboration between member states in the defence procurement phase to fill the most urgent and critical gaps.