* EU summit to seek new funds for defence iniatives
* Trump victory, Brexit seen as motivation for cooperation
By Robin Emmott and Gabriela Baczynska
BRUSSELS, Dec 13 The European Union is set to
call for a defence review process on Thursday that could name
and shame governments not spending enough at a time of renewed
U.S. criticism that Europe does not pay enough for its security.
EU leaders at a summit in Brussels on Thursday will say that
they want plans for a Coordinated Annual Review on Defence next
year, according to a draft of the final summit statement.
That could mark the start of a review process based on peer
pressure to screen and better align national defence budgets and
programmes, although the subject remains sensitive for
governments that say military spending is a sovereign matter.
The ideas are not new but have been given impetus by U.S.
President-elect Donald Trump, who alarmed Europe by questioning
whether Washington should protect allies not spending enough on
their own defence during his election campaign.
The European Union, which has relied on the United States to
guarantee its security for the past 70 years, is eager to show
Trump it is willing to bear more of the costs of managing the
conflicts on its borders.
Britain's decision to leave the European Union, robbing the
bloc of one of its biggest military powers, has also spurred EU
military planning to maximise assets through cooperation.
"Europeans must take greater responsibility for their
security," EU leaders will say, according to the draft statement
that stresses "the need to do more, including by committing
sufficient additional resources."
EU leaders will also call for an overhaul of the way the
bloc pays for its military operations abroad by reforming its
so-called common-funded, Athena mechanism, as well setting up a
separate fund for EU governments to club together to develop and
buy helicopters, weapons systems and other assets.
Iniatives also include lifting a ban on the European Union
budget being used to finance train and equip programmes in
fragile states outside the bloc and reforming EU rapid-reaction
forces, or battlegroups, which have never been deployed.
A lack of money remains the biggest impediment to EU defence
after a decade of military budget cuts and years of overlapping
defence programmes, while the number of threats has morphed to
include Russia cyber hackers and Islamic militants.
EU defence spending is about a quarter of U.S. levels and
half of that goes on personnel costs, compared to a third in the
United States, according to EU data.
(Editing by Angus MacSwan)