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Almost two years since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, EU military assistance under the European Peace Facility (EPF) is lagging. The special European Council meeting of 1 February 2024 invited the Council to agree by early March 2024 to amend the regulation establishing the EPF, in order to increase its financial ceiling.

International humanitarian law (IHL) aims to lessen the horrible effects of armed conflict by outlining states' and non-state armed groups' responsibilities during an armed conflict. The EU and its Member States are bound by these rules. As IHL only applies in wartime, compliance of common security and defence policy (CSDP) missions and operations with IHL has not yet been put to the test. Despite the possibility, according to the Treaties, for the EU to deploy peace enforcement missions, Member ...

Manufacturing and trade in firearms for civilian purposes employs around 150 000 people in the EU. In 2020, the Commission adopted a 2020-2025 action plan on firearms trafficking to help curb the illegal flows of firearms, and ammunition, while also strengthening the legal market. The adoption of Directive (EU) 2021/555 on control of the acquisition and possession of weapons in 2021was the first legislative outcome of the plan. In October 2022, the Commission presented a proposal for a regulation ...

The European Union (EU) has developed a complex architecture of information systems to support its policies on external borders, migration management, and internal security. In response to recent migration and security challenges, the EU has sought to expand and upgrade its existing information systems on borders and security, as well as to establish new systems and to ensure their interconnection (interoperability). The underlying policy goal has been to 'close information gaps' on third-country ...

The Commission put forward its proposal for a regulation establishing the European defence industry reinforcement through common procurement act (EDIRPA) on 19 July 2022. The key goals were to address the EU's most urgent and critical defence capability gaps and incentivise the EU Member States to procure defence products jointly. On 27 June, the co-legislators reached a political agreement on EDIRPA. Parliament adopted the EDIRPA Regulation on 12 September and the Council followed suit on 9 October ...

On 2 March 2023, Ukraine sent a request for assistance to the EU for the supply of 155 mm-calibre artillery rounds. On 20 March, the Council agreed on a three-track proposal on ammunition (delivery from existing stocks; joint procurement from industry; increasing production). Its main aim is to provide one million rounds of artillery ammunition for Ukraine up to March 2024. It is unclear whether Member States and industry will be able to deliver on time. To date, 300 000 rounds of ammunition have ...

On 13 September 2023, Kim Jong-un, leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea), met with President Putin at the Vostochny Cosmodrome (spaceport) in the Amur region in Russia's far east. Although very little is known about what they discussed, many observers assume that one of the topics involved hammering out the details of a deal whereby North Korea would help Russia replenish its stocks of artillery shells and send a considerable number of workers to staff Russian ...

During the September 2023 plenary session, Parliament is scheduled to vote on the provisional agreement on EDIRPA reached with the Council in June 2023. EDIRPA is a €300 million fund to incentivise the joint procurement of urgent and critical defence products needed in the context of the response to Russia's war on Ukraine.

On 3 May 2023, the Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation establishing the act in support of ammunition production (ASAP). On 9 May 2023, the European Parliament agreed to trigger the urgent procedure under Rule 163 of its Rules of Procedure in order to proceed quickly with the proposal, without a report. On 1 June 2023, the plenary agreed to refer the file back to the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE), for interinstitutional negotiations on the basis of the Commission proposal ...

In 2022, the EU Strategic Compass included space as a strategic domain, and called for a dedicated European strategy. In the meantime, Russia's invasion of Ukraine confirmed the key role of space for defence and resilience, but also highlighted vulnerabilities related to space systems. Another 'wake-up call' came from a different direction; SpaceX's advances in reusable rocket technology leading to Starship's first orbital flight test turned the spotlight onto launch providers and access to space ...