The crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will have consequences on every aspect of the European societies, including the defence sector. The extent to which it will impact the military budgets is heavily discussed, with optimists trusting in slightly decreased investments and pessimists anticipating severe downturns. The fulfilment of NATO capability goals will be at stake, while allies will bring further diversified security needs to the Alliance’s agenda. The EU will have to cope with both pandemic and economic recession for the sake of its own security and stability, without sacrificing the European Defence Fund which could rather be part of a EU-wide plan for industrial and economic re-launch.
This report summarizes the main findings of the IAI webinar hold on 8 April 2020 and participated by 22 experts and practitioners from Italy and other European countries.
1. Cuts to the military budget
2. The pandemic crisis and NATO
3. A changing role for the armed forces?
4. The EDF and Europe’s economic re-launch
Conclusion: What implications for the European integration process?