The Commission today held an orientation debate on the future of European defence. A stronger Europe when it comes to security and defence matters has been a priority for the Juncker Commission since it took office, with President Juncker announcing the creation of a European Defence Fund in his 2016 State of the Union address. With a worsening security situation in Europe’s neighbourhood and a strong economic case for greater cooperation on defence spending amongst EU countries, the Commission believes now is the time to make strides towards a Security and Defence Union. Today’s orientation debate will help guide the Commission’s work in the weeks to come. Ahead of the Prague high-level European conference on defence and security, on 7 June, the Commission will launch the European Defence Fund announced in the November 2016 European Defence Action Plan. In parallel, it will present a longer-term reflection paper setting out possible scenarios for the future in the area of European defence.