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Europe’s poor output in defence

epa05079502 Ukrainian workers work at Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) at the armored vehicles factory in Kiev, Ukraine, 23 December 2015. The United States a day earlier expanded its list of Russian individuals and entities sanctioned over the Ukraine conflict in an effort to push Russia to enforce a ceasefire deal clinched earlier this year in Minsk. The sanctions also include six pro-Russian separatists and two former Ukrainian officials close to Ukraine's ousted pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych. Ukraine ousted Yanukovych last year amid mass protests calling for closer ties with the West. Russia subsequently annexed Ukraine's southern Crimea region and supported a pro-Russian separatist rebellion in Ukraine's two eastern-most regions. EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

“No matter of how much of the GDP a Member State of the European Union or a NATO ally spends on defence, invests on defence, there is one number – actually two numbers – that tell us a lot. Europeans invest 50% compared to the Americans on defence. The output of this investment in Europe is 15% of the output in the United States. This means that, yes, we have to have reflection on how much Europeans spend on defence, but we can have an immediate work on bridging the gap on the output. This can be done immediately – and what is the difference? Why is our output on defence so poor, compared to the one in the United States?”

“Simply because of the economy of scale. The Europeans do not invest together on defence, while the economy of scale in the United States is definitely more convenient for better output of investments.” – from the speech by the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini at the AmCham EU Transatlantic Conference “Room for three? The implications of Brexit on the EU-US relationship.

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