Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and French President Emmanuel Macron signed a memorandum on Monday, on the sidelines of the European summit,

committing to enhanced cooperation between their defense industries.

De Croo and Macron stated that the memorandum of understanding reflects their shared goal of advancing a stronger European defense union.

Belgium and France have agreed to participate directly in the acquisition of the French armored vehicle manufacturer Arquus by the Belgian company John Cockerill Defense. Through the Federal Participation and Investment Company, Belgium will acquire a 10% stake in John Cockerill's defense division, while the French government will take an equivalent stake in the Belgian group.

"The Russian aggression against Ukraine has reminded us that we, as Europeans, need to build a real defense industry. This means helping our defense industry to consolidate its activities and expertise in Europe," De Croo said.

"The Belgian investment in John Cockerill Defense, which should enable it to take over Arquus, aligns with this goal: to create a robust, major European player in the field of national defense," he added. Photo by IAEA Imagebank, Wikimedia commons.