A New Beginning for European Defence Fund, Reinforced by a Programme (EDIP) and a Strategy (EDIS)

The European Defence Fund (EDF) needs to review its strategy and programming after only three years of existence. It was created in 2021 under the European Union Global Strategy (EUGS), thanks to the push made by EU Member states at the time. The political will to invest in European security has gained significant momentum thanks largely to the EDF, particularly in strengthening the European Defence and Technology Industrial Basis (EDTIB). The objective is to fund armament and spend in common. The European Defence Industrial Strategy (EDIS), proposed by the Commission in March 2024, is more precise than the EUGS on defence matters and marks the EU’s first-ever defence strategy. The EDIS was created to achieve industrial defence readiness by 2035 and strengthen the European Defence and Technological Industrial Basis (EDTIB) (European Commission 2024b). This strategy will influence the EDF’s programming and its presentation in the next Multi-Financial Framework.

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The application of the Law of the Sea to the EU legal system and its implications for European Defence

States have long been considered the primary, but not only, subjects of International Law. To be considered a State, Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention (1933) sets out four criteria: a permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other states (Montevideo Convention, 1933). A State's sovereignty is here limited to its territory, over which its legal system has complete jurisdiction. However, defined territory is not uncomplicated, as States control their airspace and have a border to outer space, and coastal State’s territory encompasses maritime zones surrounding their land (Gioia, 2019). This article analyses the International and European legal framework regulating States in their maritime areas. Then, it will focus on the interaction between those legal sources and their implications for European Defence.

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In the West but Unlike the Rest: The Bulgarian Defence’s Difficult Path Toward Interoperability

As part of NATO's Eastern flank, Bulgaria’s defence capabilities are crucial to European security. While Sofia has embarked on crucial reforms since the fall of the Communist bloc in 1991, its Armed Forces are still far from being at the same level as its NATO allies. Nevertheless, Bulgaria is boldly enhancing its military power. Initiatives such as its accession to FINABEL show the political commitment to share defence and interoperability.

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Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg meet in Rome to Discuss Ukraine, Defence Spending and Mediterranean Security

On 8 May 2024, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Rome, Italy. Their discussion mainly focused on what will be at the heart of the upcoming NATO Summit, taking place in July in Washington, with the war in Ukraine leading the conversation (ANSA, 2024a). The Secretary General reiterated that sending boots on the ground to Ukraine is currently not an option for NATO, nor something that the Ukrainians have asked (ANSA 2024b). Instead, what Ukrainians are in desperate need of is additional military aid, especially in light of the recent territorial advance by the Russian army in the northeastern region of Kharkiv (Dettmer, 2024).

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