05:36 GMT12 July 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The 2019 EU budget stipulated allocation of 245 million euros (about $287 million) for the European Defence Industrial Development Programme, the European Commission said in a Wednesday statement.

    "In addition to consolidating past efforts, this draft budget also includes support for new initiatives:… 245 million [euros] for the set-up of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme to support the European defense industry and move towards a European Defence Union," the statement said.

    READ MORE: Details of Newly Proposed EU Defense Tool to Be Presented in June — Mogherini

    Earlier in the day, the European Commission proposed a draft EU budget for the next year worth 166 billion euros in commitments. The draft envisages a three-percent increase, compared to the 2018 budget.

    For years the European Union has exerted efforts to strengthen own defense capabilities, including via defense spending increase. In April, European Defence Agency Chief Executive Jorge Domecq said in an article for the Royal Elcano Institute foundation that total EU investments in "defense capability development" could reach five billion euros on an annual basis after 2020.

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