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CLARA MOSCHINI

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Profumo: "European Defense Fund is good, but we need to plan"

The Ministry of Defense should dictate the guidelines for the industry

During the hearing in the hall of the Labor Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, the managing director of Leonardo Alessandro Profumo spoke about the European Defense Fund and the position of the Italian aerospace company. A topic considered fundamental, because "none of the European Union (EU) countries has the possibility of competing alone with the United States, China and Russia". At the same time, however, for Profumo "the collaborations will have to be sectorial in such a way as to develop greater skills for the various companies, without fantasizing about possible huge European industrial unions".

But according to the CEO, it is necessary to continue on the path traced by the European Parliament, because if a single European defense market was to be established "the means produced would be reduced and the costs borne by the citizens would be optimized thanks to this". But the funds that will be allocated by the EU will not have to replace the budgets of the various States, since in order to grow and to maintain certain capacities it is necessary to have "continuous and ever-increasing funding".

The regulation establishing the European Defense Fund, however, is not perfect yet, in fact for Profumo changes should be made to avoid an alliance between two States -an indirect reference to French-German projects- and that restore the funding threshold for 100% plans, because "85% is not consistent with the desire to compete with US companies funded in their projects even above the actual value". Finally, the so-called "eligible subjects", on which the CEO will be given a unambiguous definition on some points. First of all, on assets and infrastructures in non-EU countries, this is because Leonardo "in this way would lose all the skills and production lines based in the United Kingdom, which together with the Italian and US companies -transite Drs- form" the chain of value of the company. "Secondly, the changes will have to be carried out on third parties, because as explained by Profumo "we have 50% of our capital in the hands of institutional investors, and more than 60% of this is based in the United Kingdom and in the US. "The fear of ad is that some European countries could raise this type of problem in the allocation of EU funds.

In conclusion, a warning on the decisions to be made in the short term, especially the one concerning the new air superiority aircraft that will have to replace the Eurofighter Typhoon. "We need to understand what Italy and Europe want to do about future hunting, also because research and development will take many years, understanding -Profumo continues- what we could develop on our own to maintain our own strategic capabilities and on which we can collaborate". It will be up to the Ministry of Defense to dictate the guidelines for the future of the Italian defense industry.

M/A - 1214022

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