France is increasing military spending

  • Nikola Blokešová
  • 30.3.2017 10:33

On 20 March French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian authorised a project to overhaul and upgrade France's Rafale fighter jets. This comes several months after the Chief of Defence Staff, Pierre de Villiers, called for an increase of military spending, modernisation of equipment and reaching NATO’s 2% GDP target by 2022 instead of 2025. This proposed development would mean a budget increase of almost €3 billion in 2018 and further €2-3 billion each consecutive year. According to de Villiers, these efforts come partly as a reaction to the Paris, Nice and Berlin terrorist attacks.

If, and how quickly, France increases its military budget also depends on the result of this years’ presidential election. De Villiers stated that a new multiyear budget should be set at the beginning of 2018 and therefore correspond with the new president’s term. Both of the currently most popular presidential candidates, Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, have previously stated their support for an increase in military spending. The trend of increasing military spending to reach the 2 % GDP is currently observed in a number of European countries such as Germany, Romania, Lithuania or the Czech Republic.

About author: Nikola Blokešová

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