Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, which is here to stay, the Eurosatory international defense exhibition, which is being held in Villepinte from June 13 to 17, is an opportunity for Emmanuel Macron to readjust his leadership clothes in the storm, and to affirm his desire to rearm France. In a speech delivered on the occasion of the inauguration of the show, the President of the Republic announced that he had “asked the Minister for the Armed Forces and the Chief of the Defense Staff to be able to carry out a reassessment of the Military Programming Law in the light of the geopolitical context.”
This law provides in particular to allocate an envelope of 50 billion euros to the Ministry of the Armed Forces by 2025, or 2% of GDP. Since his first election in 2017, Emmanuel Macron has greatly increased the appropriations devoted to Defense, with the aim of building a complete and balanced army model, but events are forcing him to accelerate. It is now necessary, in his words, “to adjust the means to the threats” by bringing the country “into a war economy”.
The President did not specify whether the budget of 40.9 billion euros planned for Defense in 2022 would be increased, but we know that the ministry in charge of these issues plans to propose a legislative text allowing the requisitioning, in certain circumstances, materials and skills of civilian companies for military purposes. Without, however, France being at war, which the law currently requires. Led by the Directorate General for Armaments, the DGA, the project is inspired by an American law, the Defense Priorities and Allocations System Program. With this legislation, the French State could thus require that the production capacities of civilian companies enter, temporarily, into the service of Defence. As for the discussions concerning the increase in the stocks of shells, missiles and artillery equipment – stated priorities – they are, to date, well advanced.
In his speech, Emmanuel Macron also called for the strengthening of “the European defense industrial and technological base”, so as not to build “the dependencies of tomorrow”. He calls for more cooperation within the Union and “the establishment of a European preference”, which would avoid having to buy weapons elsewhere, which Germany recently did, by ordering F -35 and helicopters in the United States. Today, the cooperation of the countries of the Old Continent in terms of armaments is slowing down, and even the Franco-German couple, the engine of cohesion, is struggling to advance its project to create a common combat tank.