Germany Towards Supporting Financing Defence Programmes
According to an article by the newspaper Politico.eu, the German federal government is about to agree to the plan proposed by the French government so that the European Investment Bank could finance the defence or armament programs of the countries of the European Union.
Germany was strictly against any financial involvement in defence or armament programs. The war in Ukraine has changed Germany’s priorities. According to four officials and diplomats in Berlin and Brussels, who spoke to the publication anonymously, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is more optimistic about the French proposal, which allows the European Investment Bank to purchase arms, military equipment and ammunition.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, Germany has defined its new strategy with the “Zeitenwende” speech, which asks Germany to lead in European security.
Although changing the EIB’s mandate is not yet an agreed-upon German government position, a spokesperson for Finance Minister Christian Lindner declined to comment on whether he supports the plan. If Germany officially supported the French initiative, it would increase the likelihood that other countries would follow suit.
That would be critical to gaining a majority on the EIB’s board of directors, comprised of senior finance ministry representatives from the EU’s 27 member states. They are the ones who have the power to expand the EIB’s mandate to include defence. A change in mandate would require the support of at least 14 EU countries, representing 50 per cent of the bank’s subscribed capital. Germany is important in this regard because it is one of the EIB’s largest shareholders, alongside France and Italy, which each own nearly 19 per cent of the bank.