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Luik: During its presidency, Estonia also protects the interests of small defence industry enterprises

26. July 2017 - 10:00

Minister of Defence Jüri Luik confirmed at his meeting with Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs that, during its presidency of the Council of the European Union, Estonia will also stand for the interests of small and medium sized enterprises.

‘Alongside the traditional defence industry the European Union must also support small and medium sized innovative enterprises, which are currently generating a significant number of fresh ideas', said Minister Luik.

Commissioner Bieńkowska agreed that the European Defence Fund should be able to support the opportunities of small and medium sized enterprises.

This should be supported by the European Defence Fund, with the development of its pilot programme being directed by Estonia during its presidency of the Council of the European Union. During the period 2019-2020 the European Commission should, via the pilot programme, support the strengthening of Europe's defence capabilities with EUR 500 million.

Commissioner Bieńkowska commended Estonia’s work during its presidency in moving forward the field of defence. Luik and Bieńkowska confirmed that close cooperation between the presidency and the Commission will continue.

The Minister of Defence will be meeting today and tomorrow in Brussels with European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen; General Mikhail Kostarakos, Chairman of the European Union Military Committee; Julian King, Commissioner for the Security Union; and Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency.