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The European Defence and Security Summit 2024

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Written by: Meave Buchignani

Edited by: : Zoi Sofologi

Supervised by: Marta Cerafogli

The 7th European Defence and Security Summit, held in Brussels on 17 April 2024, brought together distinguished speakers from EU institutions, national governments and the European defence industry to discuss pressuring security issues. The summit tackled critical issues concerning Europe’s response to ongoing conflicts and emerging security threats, focusing on how Europe can meet today’s and tomorrow’s security challenges.

The opening conversation highlighted European efforts to provide military support to Ukraine in the face of Russia’s unprovoked aggression. The Ukrainian Minister for Strategic Industries, the Managing Director, Peace, Security and Defence (EEAS), the European Defence Agency Chief Executive and representatives from the European defence industry shed light on Europe’s track record in supporting Ukraine over the past two years. The discussion delved into key achievements, lessons learned, and evolving challenges in addressing Ukraine’s needs (European Business Summits, 2024).

The Summit addressed the concept of a “war economy” in 21st-century Europe, emphasising the need to ensure timely availability of resources for defence capabilities. The meeting also discussed the feasibility of a “war economy”, the necessary adaptations of European economies, and the level of preparedness required to enhance defence readiness and support Ukraine effectively. In her speech, President Ursula von der Leyen confirmed the EU’s support to Ukraine and highlighted three core priorities in the realm of security and defence: preparedness, investments, and partnerships (von der Leyen, 2024).

Furthermore, the Summit explored the imperative of enhancing the West’s defence technological and industrial base. Speakers, including Timo Pesonen, Director-General DG DEFIS, European Commission, discussed the European Defence Industrial Strategy and the US National Defence Industrial Strategy. They examined the specificities, differences, and commonalities between European and US industries in the new geopolitical context, as well as the potential complementarity of their strategies.

Overall, the Summit provided a platform for in-depth discussions on key issues shaping Europe’s security landscape and addressed the complex security challenges facing Europe in the contemporary geopolitical landscape.


European Defence Summits. (2024, April 17). European Defence and Security Summit: Programme.

von der Leyen U. (2024). Keynote speech at the European Defence and Security Summit. LinkedIn.