The increase in defense spending announced by the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, in March and which caused the rejection by his Executive and parliamentary partners is already a commitment to Brussels. The Executive has included in the Stability Plan that it sent this Friday to the European Commission its objective of increasing the weight of defense spending in the budget from next year. Thus, it forecasts that it will remain at 1.2% of GDP in 2025, with the final goal of reaching 2% in 2030, as NATO claims.
This Friday has been an intense day for the Government’s economic area. First thing in the morning, the new macroeconomic scenario for this year and the next three was announced. In it, the expected brake on the economy has been confirmed and the new target for this year has been set at 4.3%, compared to the 7% that was initially set. Later, in the afternoon, the Stability Plan and the National Reform Plan were made public. Both documents, together with the macro scenario, are the first step required by European regulations to start moving towards the General Budgets for next year.
In these accounts you will find —as long as the electoral calendar is maintained and the new Budgets are formulated— a larger item for defense spending. Sánchez made the announcement in mid-March in an interview on LaSexta, in the context of the start of Russia’s military attack on Ukraine. There, he promised to raise defense spending to 2%, in line with NATO requests. Now, that commitment is beginning to take shape with the Stability Plan, where the revenue and expenditure forecasts of the administrations are drawn up.
“As a prominent element, an increase in the defense budget is included in these forecasts, which stems from the government’s commitment to reach 2% of GDP set by NATO in 2030,” reads the document sent to Brussels. The Government traces a “gradual” path that will start next year. This will go to the reinforcement of defense personnel, the remuneration of employees and investments. With this, it will go from 1% of GDP this year to 1.2% at the end of the multiannual framework sent to the European Commission.