The European Commission proposed on Wednesday to help Europe's defense industry cope with pressure from falling military budgets by funding research and helping to develop new military technologies. The European Union's executive body has traditionally left defense responsibilities to its 28 member states.
Europe's defense industry had sales of 96 billion euros ($126.9 billion) in 2012 and employed about 400,000 people. Experts say the European defense industry is too fragmented, with firms often developing many similar products, while the continent lags in key technologies such as drones, where the US and Israel lead. (Reuters)