Mar 11, 2015 by Elisabeth SCHOEFFMANN – European Defence Agency
On March 9-10, the European Defence Agency (EDA) National Armaments Directors discussed ways to enhance European defence and security capabilities to prepare for the June 2015 European Council discussion on defence.
National Armaments Directors discussed how to promote cooperation of European states in the area of joint procurement, project planning and implementation, support for EDA capability programmes and ways to strengthen the European defence industry.
National Armaments Directors concluded that the involvement of small and medium sized companies in supply chains is beneficial for the European economy and long-term defence capabilities and should be enhanced. Evaluating the current security challenges, Member States agreed that cooperation is paramount; therefore, it is crucial to strengthen the cooperation with partners, such as NATO and the U.S.
“This is a significant forum because it tackles the European capabilities at their core and allows our countries to cooperate in the area of procurement, armaments and assistance to our defence industries”, stressed Raimonds Vējonis, the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia, welcoming the participants of the meeting.
“In the light of recent developments in the European security architecture, cooperation within the EU and our partners is essential, therefore the back-to-back event with the NATO and the U.S. gave an opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest and standardization, government to government sales and Single European Skies”, said R.Vējonis regarding the back-to-back event with the NATO and the U.S. that took place during the informal meeting and was hosted by the Latvian EU Presidency.
”EDA’s role is to support Member States in their efforts to develop capabilities. In light of new security challenges paired with budgetary constraints, the case for cooperation becomes ever more compelling. The meeting of National Armaments Directors in Riga was an important opportunity towards the preparation of the European Council discussion on defence in June since they are responsible for delivering the capabilities our armed forces need today and in the future”, said Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the EDA after the meeting.
During the meeting an exhibition of Latvian defence industry products was available for the participants. The display included products ranging from unmanned aerial vehicles and shipbuilding to cans, password replacement solutions and machine translation.