Eighteen states signed on Monday the European Defence Agency (EDA) project arrangement for the collaborative procurement of ammunition to aid Ukraine and replenish Member States’ national stockpiles.
On Monday, EU foreign ministers agreed to a €2 billion plan to raid their stockpiles and jointly purchase desperately needed artillery shells for Ukraine.
The project opens the way for EU Member States and Norway to proceed along two paths: a two-year, fast-track procedure for 155mm artillery rounds and a seven-year project to acquire multiple ammunition types.
Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden and Norway have signed. More Member States have already expressed their intent to join the initiative soon following national procedures.
The ‘Collaborative Procurement of Ammunition’ project was set up in record time by EDA to answer the call to procure ammunition collectively and more quickly by aggregating, coordinating, and agreeing contracts with the European defence industry. EDA’s project provides a solid framework for Member States’ intention to jointly procure urgently needed ammunition for Ukraine.
Common procurement is the best option to achieve cost reduction from economies of scale, while allowing Member States to purchase ammunition according to their national needs and supporting Ukraine. The arrangement, which is flexible and inclusive in nature, allows all remaining EDA Member States to join the initiative at a later stage.
In the run-up to the informal meeting of the Ministers of Defence Council, which took place in Stockholm on 7 and 8 March, Head of Agency Josep Borrell set out three complementary tracks to deliver more artillery ammunition and to deliver it more quickly: first to help Member States in sending such ammunition from national stockpiles or from pending orders; second to aggregate demand and quickly move to 155mm collaborative procurement; and third to ramp up the manufacturing capacity of the European defence industry.
EDA has been working since November 2022 on three areas for common procurement: ammunition, soldier systems and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) equipment, based on the work of the Joint Defence Task Force with Member States to identify their most critical shortfalls.
The ‘Collaborative Procurement of Ammunition’ project provides a seven-year framework for Member States to commonly procure multiple types and calibres of ammunition (5.56 mm to 155 mm) to replenish national stocks.