THE EUROPEAN DEFENCE AGENCY (EDA) PUBLISHED DEFENCE DATA FOR 2011
Total defence expenditure down by € 1bn
In 2011, total defence expenditure of EDA 26 pMS amounted to € 192.5bn – a reduction of €1bn or 0.5% compared to 2010 – representing approximately 1.55% of their total GDP and 3.17% of their total government expenditure, both values being the lowest since 2006. In real terms, total defence expenditure has been decreasing since 2006 and between 2010 and 2011 it dropped by over 2%.
Defence investment (procurement and R&D) at its lowest level since 2006
Personnel-related expenditure of € 98.6bn accounted for 51.1% of total defence spending – virtually unchanged since 2009. The second biggest component – operation and maintenance expenditure – increased by 3.6% and accounted for 23.5% (€ 45.2bn) of total defence expenditure. However, defence investment, comprising equipment procurement and R&D expenditure, saw a sharp decrease of almost 14% bringing its value down to the lowest level since 2006 (€ 37.0bn or 19.2% of total expenditure). Both components of investment contributed to the decrease: equipment procurement dropped by 15% (€ 29.2bn or 15.2% of total expenditure), and R&D expenditure – by 9% (€7.8bn or 4.0% of total expenditure). As for Research and Technology, expenditure increased by 3.5% up to € 2.15bn reversing a downward trend since 2006.
Increase in collaborative procurement and R&T
In 2011, 27.1% or €7.9bn of total defence equipment procurement expenditure was spent on collaborative projects – a slight increase compared to 2010. Of this, 92.7% (€7.3bn) were European collaborations. Although the share of European collaborations in total collaborative equipment procurement decreased by 2% from 2010 to 2011, it nevertheless remained higher than in previous years.
As for R&T, expenditure on collaborative projects and programmes increased by 25.6% breaking a downward trend since 2009, and in 2011 it stood at € 331 representing 15.4% of total R&T spend. European collaborative R&T expenditure also increased in absolute terms by over 15% reaching €283m (13.2% of total R&T spend), but as a share of total collaborative R&T expenditure it decreased from 93.1% in 2010 to 85.4% in 2011, its lowest value since 2007.
Numbers of military and civilian personnel continue to drop while expenditure per soldier increases
In 2011, there was a reduction of both civilian and military personnel for the fifth consecutive year. Military personnel (81% of total staff working in defence) decreased by 4.3% to 1.55 million. Civilian personnel decreased by 3.9% to 374 thousand. Whilst personnel numbers reduced, defence expenditure per soldier increased by almost 4% reaching €124k. Defence investment per soldier, however, decreased by almost 10% and stood at €24k in 2011.
Reduction in troops deployed, but cost of operations increase
As regards deployed operations outside the EU territory, similarly to the last two years, the average number of troops deployed decreased in 2011 both in absolute terms (from €66 to €54k) and as a share of military personnel (from 4.1% to 3.5%) and is now at its lowest value since 2006. However, costs related to the deployed operations increased substantially (by 12.4% from 2010 to 2011) for the fifth consecutive year, reaching € 11.7m or 6.1% of total defence expenditure. Operations costs per military deployed have also been steadily increasing, and from 2006 to 2011 it nearly tripled reaching €218k.
Progress made on three out of four collective benchmarks
In 2007, EDA pMS agreed on a set of collective benchmarks for investment. There is no obligation in terms of timeline or adoption of these benchmarks into national targets, but they can assist pMS in spending more on investment.
In 2011, three out of four indicators made progress towards the agreed benchmarks. R&T expenditure broke a downward trend for the first time since 2006 increasing its share in total defen