Europe risks losing its global standing if it doesn't come up with a unified defense policy – especially in new advances such as the use of drones, experts have warned.
The European Union's defense strategy is currently fragmented, with individual member states taking control of their own military policy, despite a common framework being in place.
The region's 28 leaders are set to meet next Thursday to discuss the region's defense policy against a backdrop of austerity and sharp budget cuts.
"We need to have the right capability to shoulder our own responsibility of security in the EU and beyond. There are certain things Europe is lacking and that is well known and I think and that is what will be discussed," a source close to the talks told CNBC in a phone interview.
The EU's defense policy came under fire on Friday from the chief executive of aerospace giant EADS, who said the bloc must spend money on developing a military drone or get left behind the U.S. and Israel.
Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicle systems (UAVs) are operated remotely from thousands of miles away from the battlefield and have been highly criticized after evidence emerged that U.S. aircrafts had killed civilians.
But politicians have recognised the need for EU countries to adopt the technology to catch up in the global drone race. In a meeting in Brussels last month, defense ministers asked the European Defense Agency (EDA), the European Union's Defense arm, to start studying the military requirements and costs of a future EU surveillance drone that could be produced after 2020.