The massive military potential offered by drones has placed them at the heart of modern militaries. Their incontrovertible strategic benefits have prompted several European states to pursue the joint development of a Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) drone. It is an ambitious challenge, thus cooperative development is necessary to share the substantial investment costs and compete with the United States and Israel. Although military drone cooperation has progressed slowly in Europe, recent civilian drone initiatives may spark new momentum and stimulate civilian-military synergy. In order to manage the risks and take advantage of potential opportunities, there is a new political impulse in Europe to regulate the use and development of civilian drones. The goal is to integrate them into European airspace, with adapted regulations, research funding and a common market that will place Europe in strong position in this highly competitive sector. This research paper seeks to evaluate the nature and scope of current discussions and initiatives concerning the use of civilian and military drones in the European Union.
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