There is high public interest in defence across Member States, due to the more unstable geopolitical order and the rise of new security threats. For the 2021-2027 programme period, the Commission has set up a European Defence Fund to support collaborative EU defence projects in addition to the Member States’ own national defence budgets.
As the EU’s auditors, we also look ahead in order to help address key challenges facing the EU in future. Three decades after the end of the Cold War, an increasingly volatile world is presenting a new type of asymmetric security threat. The origins of such threats are terrorist and other extremist groups, criminal organisations and hostile countries, but pandemics also present a threat. The EU is currently not well prepared for the security issues it may have to face in terms of cybersecurity, hybrid warfare and the weaponisation of social media. At the same time, it will be more difficult for the EU and its Member States to achieve multilateral or bilateral agreements and Europeans will have to manage and finance their own security and defence.
We will keep all these factors in mind when selecting our audit tasks and formulating recommendations for the future.