Chapter 15: From economic to strategic crisis: European military expenditure and procurement in the 2010s
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After the financial crisis of 2008, European military expenditure dipped. However, a change in the security environment and threat perceptions of Europeans, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, generated a new political consensus in favour of increased military spending. In a decade, the levels of military expenditure returned to their pre-financial crisis levels. However, even though the trend is general throughout the continent, defence policy priorities still differ widely, which reflects in procurement patterns of European states. While some are readying to face a peer-to-peer threat on their territory, others look to maintain capabilities across the spectrum of crises including power projection capabilities. This lack of alignment means that efforts for more joint programmes and acquisitions could remain limited, unless broader common defence policy objectives are agreed on.

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