Part of a broader push to revitalize defense cooperation, the European Commission will propose a defense fund and seek to lift a ban on the EU's common budget and its development bank investing in military research.
The main proposal, to be presented at around 12 p.m. (1100 GMT), is an investment fund for defense, which could allow EU governments that pay into it also to borrow, ensuring funds are always available for joint defense programs such as helicopters or drones.
The fund, which could start on a small scale in 2017, could be backed by the European Investment Bank to finance projects if governments agree to remove the ban on backing military projects.
With the Commission overseeing a common EU budget of about 150 billion euros (US$160 billion) a year, France and Germany say it is time to allow it to be used for military research.
The European Parliament has approved a 90 million euro pilot plan for 2017 to 2019 and the Commission could potentially allocate 3.5 billion euros from the budget between 2021 and 2027, officials say.