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20 septembre 2015 7 20 /09 /septembre /2015 11:50
European defence collaboration – Back to the future

 

With the EU facing increasingly hostile environments to its east and south, defence collaboration is once again back at the centre of European integration efforts. In December 2013, the European Council held a debate on defence for the first time since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty.

In its conclusions, the European Council identified priorities for stronger cooperation: improving EU rapid response capabilities, enhancing the development of military capabilities, and bolstering Europe’s defence industry. After decades of defence cutbacks across the continent, there are a growing number of shortfalls in European military capabilities.

 

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18 juin 2015 4 18 /06 /juin /2015 12:50
European Council, 25-26/06/2015


18.06.2015 European Council
 

Agenda highlights

The European Council meeting on 25 and 26 June will discuss migration. Leaders are expected to focus on relocation, resettlement and return policy. They should also look forward to the Valetta Conference with countries of origin and transit in Africa.

The heads of state or government will focus on the security challenges facing the European Union. They will discuss a review of the European security strategy and take stock of on-going work in the fight against terrorism.

 

Leaders will also discuss economic issues, concluding the 2015 European Semester, taking stock of the state of play concerning the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the European Fund for Strategic Investments.  
 
The European Council will further discuss and provide orientations on the digital agenda and the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) report on better economic governance in the euro area.

These agenda highlights set out the main items that the European Council is expected to address at its meeting. It is not an exhaustive list and may yet be modified.

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18 juin 2015 4 18 /06 /juin /2015 10:50
photo EDA

photo EDA

 

Brussels - 18 May, 2015 European Defence Agency
 

Defence Ministers today formalised their contribution in view of the European Council at the Steering Board of the European Defence Agency (EDA). It complements the contributions from the High Representative /Head of Agency Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Bieńkowska. Among others, Ministers agreed on analysing the implications of hybrid warfare for European defence capability development, on further incentivising defence cooperation including the Preparatory Action on CSDP-related research, on a SME Action Plan, on potential basic principles, objectives and actions for a Security of Supply regime as well as future priorities of the Agency. 

 

Capability development

During today’s meeting, Defence Ministers welcomed the progress achieved in the implementation of the 2013 European Council Conclusions. The four capability programmes on Air-to-Air Refuelling, Cyber Defence, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and Governmental Satellite Communications endorsed by the European Council in 2013 are making good progress in line with their roadmaps. 

Cooperative programmes are important for enhancing capabilities in Europe, but also for clarifying priorities for industry. Defence Ministers agreed that potential additional priority capability areas could be investigated using the Agency’s Capability Development Plan, an assessment of cooperative opportunities derived from the Collaborative Database (CODABA) and EU wider policies. 

The Agency was also tasked to conduct an analysis of the implications of hybrid warfare for European defence capability development in light of the changed security environment to the East and South. The analysis might form part of wider efforts, co-ordinated by the External Action Service and also including the Commission, to analyse the impact of hybrid warfare on the European security environment and to identify, and recommend improvements to existing EU tools and instruments that are best suited to counter this threat.

 

Incentives for defence cooperation

While Member States spent 26% of their defence equipment budget in collaborative procurement in 2011, this ratio was 16% in 2013. There is a need to spend better on defence, and to do more together. 

Defence Ministers today confirmed the need for  EDA to work on  non-market distorting fiscal and financial measures to further incentivise defence cooperation. Tangible progress has been achieved on VAT exemption for ad hoc projects in EDA, with the support of the Commission and the Belgian authorities. Three pilot cases currently benefit from VAT exemption. Formalisation of this VAT exemption is pending the currently ongoing review of the EDA Council Decision.

EDA is investigating with Member States financial engineering mechanisms in support of defence cooperation, including a potential European investment fund for defence, for example to improve the availability of funds and the synchronisation of budgets allocated to cooperative programmes. This fund could be part of the pooled procurement mechanism. In addition, EDA has initiated contacts with the European Investment Bank to investigate potential financial support to the industrial sector and cooperative programmes of a dual-use nature.

In November 2014 the EDA proposed and Member States approved a Policy Framework for long-term and systematic cooperation. Its objective is to provide a coherent basis for defence cooperation in Europe, from priority-setting through in-service support to disposal/decommissioning.

 

Preparatory Action on CSDP-related research

There is a need to halt the continuing decline in investment of defence R&T and maintain competence in areas of critical technologies. The Preparatory Action on CSDP-related research, and its potential follow-on action in the next Multiannual Financial Framework, could provide fresh impetus. Ministers of Defence supported the progress achieved towards the development of the Preparatory Action by the European Defence Agency and the European Commission in close cooperation with the Member States.  They endorsed consolidated views pushing for a defence-oriented and CSDP-related Preparatory Action. The European Council in June 2015 is expected to provide further guidance. 

 

SME Action Plan

Defence Ministers furthermore agreed on revised guidelines for facilitating access to the defence market for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), supporting the implementation of the  Agency’s SME Action Plan. SMEs are considered to be the backbone of the EU economy in terms of jobs creation, growth and innovation. The role of SMEs in the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) has gradually increased over time, partly as a result of greater outsourcing. The non-binding guidelines were prepared in close cooperation with the Member States and the European Commission. They contain recommendations dedicated to access to supply chain, access to finance, support to innovation, competitiveness and industrial performance, and security of supply aspects. 

 

Security of Supply

Security of Supply arrangements are indispensable for the sustainment of operations, the development of long-term planning and cooperation, and the functioning of the internal market for defence. The December 2013 European Council called on the Commission to develop with Member States and in cooperation with the High Representative and the EDA a roadmap for a comprehensive EU-wide Security of Supply regime, which takes account of the globalised nature of critical supply chains. Due to the significance and multi-dimensional nature of the Security of Supply and taking into account experience gained from its work and activities, the EDA has together with its Member States identified potential basic principles and objectives of such a  regime as well as actions that could be taken at the intergovernmental level. Proposed actions include establishing specific measures to ensure access  to critical capabilities and technologies, e.g. through an early-warning or prioritisation mechanism, developing a mechanism to address concrete short term shortfalls, promoting cross-border cooperation, and bringing the supply and demand side closer together, for example through user-clubs.

 

Future priorities of EDA 

Ministers of Defence today endorsed the future priorities of the EDA including three core activities to further strengthen defence cooperation: support the development of capabilities and military cooperation; stimulate defence R&T to prepare the capabilities of tomorrow and support the EDTIB; and ensure that the interests and specificities of defence are taken into account in wider EU policies.

Under the authority of Federica Mogherini, the Head of the Agency, EDA is a key instrument for supporting and facilitating defence cooperation in Europe. EDA’s strength is that it is Member State-owned and -driven. To date, EDA has managed around 150 R&T projects with a total aggregate budget of almost €500m. 

 

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21 mai 2015 4 21 /05 /mai /2015 18:50
Outcome of the EDA Steering Board

 

Brussels - 18 May, 2015 European Defence Agency

 

 

Defence Ministers today formalised their contribution in view of the European Council at the Steering Board of the European Defence Agency (EDA). It complements the contributions from the High Representative /Head of Agency Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Bieńkowska. Among others, Ministers agreed on analysing the implications of hybrid warfare for European defence capability development, on further incentivising defence cooperation including the Preparatory Action on CSDP-related research, on a SME Action Plan, on potential basic principles, objectives and actions for a Security of Supply regime as well as future priorities of the Agency. 

 

Capability development

During today’s meeting, Defence Ministers welcomed the progress achieved in the implementation of the 2013 European Council Conclusions. The four capability programmes on Air-to-Air Refuelling, Cyber Defence, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and Governmental Satellite Communications endorsed by the European Council in 2013 are making good progress in line with their roadmaps. 

Cooperative programmes are important for enhancing capabilities in Europe, but also for clarifying priorities for industry. Defence Ministers agreed that potential additional priority capability areas could be investigated using the Agency’s Capability Development Plan, an assessment of cooperative opportunities derived from the Collaborative Database (CODABA) and EU wider policies. 

The Agency was also tasked to conduct an analysis of the implications of hybrid warfare for European defence capability development in light of the changed security environment to the East and South. The analysis might form part of wider efforts, co-ordinated by the External Action Service and also including the Commission, to analyse the impact of hybrid warfare on the European security environment and to identify, and recommend improvements to existing EU tools and instruments that are best suited to counter this threat.

 

Incentives for defence cooperation

While Member States spent 26% of their defence equipment budget in collaborative procurement in 2011, this ratio was 16% in 2013. There is a need to spend better on defence, and to do more together. 

Defence Ministers today confirmed the need for  EDA to work on  non-market distorting fiscal and financial measures to further incentivise defence cooperation. Tangible progress has been achieved on VAT exemption for ad hoc projects in EDA, with the support of the Commission and the Belgian authorities. Three pilot cases currently benefit from VAT exemption. Formalisation of this VAT exemption is pending the currently ongoing review of the EDA Council Decision.

EDA is investigating with Member States financial engineering mechanisms in support of defence cooperation, including a potential European investment fund for defence, for example to improve the availability of funds and the synchronisation of budgets allocated to cooperative programmes. This fund could be part of the pooled procurement mechanism. In addition, EDA has initiated contacts with the European Investment Bank to investigate potential financial support to the industrial sector and cooperative programmes of a dual-use nature.

In November 2014 the EDA proposed and Member States approved a Policy Framework for long-term and systematic cooperation. Its objective is to provide a coherent basis for defence cooperation in Europe, from priority-setting through in-service support to disposal/decommissioning.

 

Preparatory Action on CSDP-related research

There is a need to halt the continuing decline in investment of defence R&T and maintain competence in areas of critical technologies. The Preparatory Action on CSDP-related research, and its potential follow-on action in the next Multiannual Financial Framework, could provide fresh impetus. Ministers of Defence supported the progress achieved towards the development of the Preparatory Action by the European Defence Agency and the European Commission in close cooperation with the Member States.  They endorsed consolidated views pushing for a defence-oriented and CSDP-related Preparatory Action. The European Council in June 2015 is expected to provide further guidance. 

 

SME Action Plan

Defence Ministers furthermore agreed on revised guidelines for facilitating access to the defence market for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), supporting the implementation of the  Agency’s SME Action Plan. SMEs are considered to be the backbone of the EU economy in terms of jobs creation, growth and innovation. The role of SMEs in the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) has gradually increased over time, partly as a result of greater outsourcing. The non-binding guidelines were prepared in close cooperation with the Member States and the European Commission. They contain recommendations dedicated to access to supply chain, access to finance, support to innovation, competitiveness and industrial performance, and security of supply aspects. 

 

Security of Supply

Security of Supply arrangements are indispensable for the sustainment of operations, the development of long-term planning and cooperation, and the functioning of the internal market for defence. The December 2013 European Council called on the Commission to develop with Member States and in cooperation with the High Representative and the EDA a roadmap for a comprehensive EU-wide Security of Supply regime, which takes account of the globalised nature of critical supply chains. Due to the significance and multi-dimensional nature of the Security of Supply and taking into account experience gained from its work and activities, the EDA has together with its Member States identified potential basic principles and objectives of such a  regime as well as actions that could be taken at the intergovernmental level. Proposed actions include establishing specific measures to ensure access  to critical capabilities and technologies, e.g. through an early-warning or prioritisation mechanism, developing a mechanism to address concrete short term shortfalls, promoting cross-border cooperation, and bringing the supply and demand side closer together, for example through user-clubs.

 

Future priorities of EDA 

Ministers of Defence today endorsed the future priorities of the EDA including three core activities to further strengthen defence cooperation: support the development of capabilities and military cooperation; stimulate defence R&T to prepare the capabilities of tomorrow and support the EDTIB; and ensure that the interests and specificities of defence are taken into account in wider EU policies.

Under the authority of Federica Mogherini, the Head of the Agency, EDA is a key instrument for supporting and facilitating defence cooperation in Europe. EDA’s strength is that it is Member State-owned and -driven. To date, EDA has managed around 150 R&T projects with a total aggregate budget of almost €500m. 

 

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20 mars 2015 5 20 /03 /mars /2015 08:50
photo Bundeswehr-Grauwinkel

photo Bundeswehr-Grauwinkel

 

Berlin - 19 March, 2015 European Defence Agency

 

Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA), visited Germany on 17 March 2015 to to discuss Germany’s involvement in projects of the European Defence Agency, support to defence industry as well as preparation of the European Council on defence issues in June 2015. 

 

During the visit Jorge Domecq met with Karin Suder, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Defence as well as senior Federal Foreign Office and Federal Ministry of Defence officials and representatives of the German Federation of Security and Defence Industries. The main topic addressed was the preparation of the  Heads of State and Government discussion on defence in June 2015.

“The European Defence Agency is committed to providing the best possible input for the discussions on defence by Heads of State and Government in June this year. In the current context, we need a strong defence in Europe, which means more cooperation and a robust defence industry. We are working with all Member States on capability development, incentives for cooperation and support to European industry. Today’s discussions highlighted the role of the European defence industry as regards our overall economic performance, our continued ability to develop the capabilities of the future and our technological strategic autonomy”, Jorge Domecq said after the meetings in Berlin.

The meetings in Brussels are part of a tour to all EDA Member States by Jorge Domecq following his appointment as EDA Chief Executive and ahead of the European Council in June.

 

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19 mars 2015 4 19 /03 /mars /2015 08:50
Picture: BE Defense/Malek AZOUG

Picture: BE Defense/Malek AZOUG

 

Brussels - 18 March, 2015 European Defence Agency

 

Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency, met today with Steven Vandeput, Belgian Minister of Defence, in Brussels to discuss preparations of the European Council on defence issues in June 2015 as well as future defence cooperation opportunities. 

Following his meeting with Mr. Domecq, Minister Vandeput said: “I fully appreciate the role of the EDA as a facilitator between the political and military actors in defence cooperation. The increased demand for operational output motivates us towards more and closer cooperation between Member States in order to create leverage and enhance efficiency. In any case, Belgium is and will remain a strong supporter of defence cooperation. For example, I would like to refer to the “Ghent Initiative” in 2010, which gave a strong political impulse to the “Pooling & Sharing” ideas and projects within the EU.

“Belgium is of double importance for the European Defence Agency. As a member it has a long tradition in defence cooperation at regional and European levels. In the framework of the European Defence Agency, Belgium is particularly active in projects covering cyber defence and countering improvised explosive devices. As our host nation, Belgium grants VAT exemption to EDA’s projects on an ad-hoc basis. This VAT exemption gives a real bonus to defence cooperation among Member States”, Jorge Domecq underlined after the meeting in Brussels.

Before the discussion with Minister Vandeput, Jorge Domecq also met with the Belgian Chief of Defence, General Gérard Van Caelenberge. The main topics addressed during both meetings were the preparation of the Heads of State and Government discussion on defence in June 2015 as well as cooperation opportunities on European level in view of future national policy choices. 

The meetings in Brussels are part of a tour to all EDA Member States by Jorge Domecq following his appointment as EDA Chief Executive and ahead of the European Council in June

 

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19 février 2015 4 19 /02 /février /2015 17:50
Latvia and EDA discuss cooperation opportunities

 

Riga - 19 February, 2015 European Defence Agency

 

Raimonds Vējonis, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia and Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA) met in Riga yesterday to discuss preparations of the upcoming European Council on defence as well as the role of the EDA in fostering European defence cooperation.

 

“The European Defence Agency has great potential to serve as a valuable platform for initiating, developing and implementing joint European cooperation projects. I believe that the EDA can be an active agent in improving the mutual trust and understanding that is crucial for international cooperation projects at this time of increased concerns about the security in Europe,” Raimonds Vējonis stressed

The Latvian Minister added: “Having had successful cooperation within the Baltic States that we consider the cornerstone of our security, we are looking forward to cooperating within this format. Furthermore, by increasing the effectiveness of our cooperation, we will be able to make the European defence industry more competitive, consolidate the demand and requirements, and use the innovative potential of the small and medium companies and research institutions in Europe, which will increase the competitiveness of the European defence industry in the world."

 

Increased cooperation

EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq also provided a feedback on the important meeting: “This is a crucial moment for European defence generally and defence capabilities specifically. Defence budgets are under pressure and so is our security environment. Through increased cooperation, Member States are able to acquire together the critical capabilities that are out of reach individually. The European Defence Agency is an instrument of the Member States and we stand ready to best support them. We are committed to working closely with Latvia, holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, to provide our expert input to High Representative / Vice President and EDA Head of Agency Federica Mogherini ahead of the next European Council. I also take this opportunity to thank Minister Vējonis for his commitment to defence cooperation and EDA”.

The discussion between Minister Vējonis and Jorge Domecq took place shortly before the start of the informal meeting of the EU Ministers of Defence who discussed current security issues and prepared for the upcoming European Council. Riga will also host the biannual EDA meeting of National Armament Directors on 9-10 March. 

 

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27 mai 2014 2 27 /05 /mai /2014 16:50
Peter Round: European Council prioritises EDA capability development initiatives

 

Brussels - 15 May, 2014 European Defence Agency

 

The European Council meeting in December 2013 provided a clear set of tasks for the EDA, with four areas of capability development identified as being particularly urgent. Peter Round, the EDA’s Capability Director, explains what this means for the Agency.

Air-to-air refuelling (AAR), remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), governmental satellite communications and cyber defence are the key issues which the European Council has identified as areas in which the EDA should work to fill in immediate capability gaps.

“Although these four tasks certainly occupy pole position in the Directorate’s thinking, they are not our only concerns. We need to examine these priorities in the context of our work as a whole. However, each of these four areas is on the priority list for a reason and they are worth examining in some detail,” said Round.

 

There can be no doubt there is a fundamental shortfall in European AAR capability. In operations over Libya, over 80% of all AAR missions were flown by US aircraft. One of the first challenges to be overcome, according to Round, is that the requirement for AAR is very different in peacetime to that in time of crisis – and that leads to all sorts of priority setting issues. “The obvious issue is that more capacity is required, but the background is complex and varies from nation to nation, so some strategic thinking has been necessary,” he said.

The first issue, therefore, has been to determine the best method of exploiting the existing fleet and satisfying short term demand. One solution has been to improve the efficiency of allocating various national assets and – in a move that mirrors some of the initiatives undertaken for the European Air Transport Command (EATC) – to improve and accelerate the process for gaining diplomatic clearance for AAR missions over foreign territories.

A parallel and potentially difficult issue to resolve is the two types of AAR technologies available – “booms” and “reels/hoses and drogues”.  Not all aircraft can accept fuel from both systems. The Royal Air Force, for example, currently has no indigenous refuelling capacity for the Rivet Joint signals intelligence platforms it is currently bringing into service and must depend on other nations assets if AAR is required.

Increased efficiency also comes from assuring adequate (and regular) training and the EDA is organising a number of what Round describes as “practical flying events,” the most recent of which took place at Decimomannu in Sardinia in late 2013. The next such event will focus on the use of Italian Boeing B767 tankers later this year.

Apart from improving the efficiency of current assets, the EDA is also working on initiatives including one looking at exploiting excess national capacity (with the UK’s Voyager fleet being a prime example.  A key piece of work is support to a Dutch and Norwegian led initiative to acquire a fleet of Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft which will make a significant contribution to European Capability through Pooling and Sharing, this aircraft will not only be a tanker but a very significant air transport asset as well.

 

The issues in the further evolution of RPAS are no less complex, but are significantly different. With the overwhelming majority of current requirements coming from the military – most of which, as Round said, have a provenance in the world of Urgent Operational Requirements – there is a tendency to forget that RPAS are most effective in an environment in which air supremacy is assured. Extending the RPAS capability from the military to the civil environment – in which the size of the market will be infinitely larger in the not-too-distant future – requires that attention be paid to a host of issues surrounding safety and public perception. “We absolutely have got to make RPAS acceptable ,” said Round.

The issue is one of the Agency’s Pioneer Projects, and aims at harnessing synergies in both military and civil domains, maximising dual-use technologies and overcoming the limitations of greater RPAS-use imposed by the lack of a harmonised framework allowing them to operate in civil airspace. Some of the problems associated with overcoming these limitations centre on the regulatory and certification domains.

In an important milestone, the MIDCAS (Midair Collision Avoidance System) project showed the capability of RPAS to operate safely beyond line of sight in a flight test in April 2013. “MIDCAS showed we are progressing towards ‘sense and avoid ;’ we have flown the airplane – it’s not pie in the sky,” said Round. He said “it has taken a long time – and great expense – to get to this stage but we have now reached the stepping-off point for the next generation: we’ve done it once, now we need to stop talking, and deliver a usable capability.” he said.

The DeSIRE programme (Demonstration of Satellites enabling the insertion of RPAS in Europe) has been a joint EDA/European Space Agency (ESA) initiative since 2010 and in spring 2013 achieved a significant progress during flight tests in Spain. Building on the capabilities the programme demonstrated, a joint investment programme, which was launched in 2012, will focus attention on solving the individual components of the issue – including sense and avoid, air traffic management interfaces and decision architecture - from this year. “There is cooperation in a host of disciplines – technological, training and maintenance among them” , said Round.

Most importantly we now have a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) community of users established through which we will continue work to move from our current Common Staff Requirement towards a Common Staff Target to define the next generation of RPAS for Europe.  “This is a very exciting development and clearly demonstrates the support within Europe for this type of Capability” said Round. 

 

A similar approach is being applied to the EDA’s work in the cyber domain, where the Agency provides “the defence element of a cross-Brussels cyber effort,” said Round. It is a domain that is sensitive, relatively new and not yet fully understood, though there have been no end of discussions trying to scope and size the credibility of the threat and therefore the appropriate nature of the response. “There is a lot of knowledge already in place, so the questions becomes where can we add value,” said Round.

The issue in cyber seems to revolve more around people than technology. Some observers estimate there is a requirement for fully trained cyber specialists is a hundred times the number in existence. This may seem like a scaremongering statistic  – but it is difficult to refute given current knowledge available in the public domain. As a result of the recognition of this and the picture revealed by the Agency stocktaking study, an unclassified version of which was presented in May last year, it is readily apparent that while there are strengths across Europe in leadership, personnel and interoperability work has to be done on doctrine, organisation and training.

So the EDA has conducted  a detailed Training Needs Analysis and currently works on building a comprehensive cyber defence curriculum. It is working closely with the US-led Multinational Capability Development Campaign to develop cyber defence operational planning and deploy situational awareness toolkits at headquarters level, thereby integrating consideration of cyber tasks into daily routines in missions and operations. It is working to promote its recently established Cyber Defence Research Agenda, the end result of which will be an R&T roadmap stretching out for the next ten years. It has already launched a project addressing the requirements for timely detection of advanced persistent threats – an area in which industrial espionage is as great a threat as military security. It has begun consultations under the umbrella of European Framework Cooperation to determine how to exploit the wealth of academic expertise in cryptology and information protection, turning it into practical solutions for timely implementation.

“We have done a lot of work in quite a short period and are confident we are heading towards early implementation of some effective solutions for Member States’ requirements in this critical domain,” said Round.

 

In terms of satellite communications (satcom) Round said this is “the ultimate Pooling & Sharing example.” The requirements for governmental satcom are very different in peacetime than in a period of crisis which, coupled with the high levels of capital expenditure involved in launching and maintaining satellites, means the incidence of capability is limited to a few nations – and even in those cases, despite the fact that satellites are ‘living longer,’ these capabilities will require replacement in the medium term future.

“Space is not a military domain – the requirements for exploitation of this type of capability stretch right across government. There is a real opportunity here to share capability,” said Round. The establishment of the European Satellite Communication Procurement Cell has enabled Member States with or without such capability to supplement or procure capability on an ad hoc basis. The French military, for example, bought capability through the European Satellite Communication Procurement Cell (ESCPC) to support their operations in Mali at extremely short notice.

 

Conclusions

While these four work strands dominate EDA capability development activity at the moment, they are not the be all and end all of this genre of effort. “One of the effects of recession is the need to work together – not the aspiration, the need. The longer Member States are involved in working together, the greater the level of trust that develops and therefore the clearer and swifter the path to success. Which leads to the likelihood of continued cooperation,” said Round. “We have significant experience of collaborative projects – and we have real, concrete, demonstrable success stories.”

 

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15 avril 2014 2 15 /04 /avril /2014 15:50
3309th Council meeting Foreign Affairs Luxembourg, 14 and 15 April 2014

 

14 and 15 April 2014 8763/14 (OR. en) Provisional Version - Presse 219 / PR CO 21

 

President Catherine Ashton High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

 

Main results of the Council Meeting of Foreign Ministers

 

Ukraine

The Council condemned actions undertaken by armed individuals in cities of Eastern Ukraine. These attempts at destabilising Ukraine must come to an end. The Council also decided to expand the list of those subject to asset freeze and visa ban.

 

The Council reiterated its strong support for Ukraine's unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and called upon Russia to do likewise. It demanded Russia to call back its troops from the Ukrainian border and immediately withdraw the mandate of the Federation Council to use force on Ukrainian soil.

 

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said:

"Any further action aimed at destabilising Ukraine must stop. It is crucial that Russia and Ukraine engage in a meaningful dialogue to find a political solution. I will meet the Foreign Ministers of the United States, Russia and Ukraine this Thursday in Geneva. The purpose of this meeting is to start a dialogue on how to deescalate the situation in Ukraine and to ensure that peace and stability returns to the whole of Ukraine."

 

The Council also signalled that the EU is ready to assist Ukraine in the field of civilian security sector reform. All options will be examined, including a possible mission under the Common Security and Defence Policy, and a decision will be taken at the next Foreign Affairs Council.

 

In addition, the Council approved macro-financial assistance to Ukraine to support the country's economic stabilisation and reforms. € 1 billion can be made available to contribute to covering Ukraine's urgent balance-of-payments needs as identified in the government's economic programme supported by the IMF. This brings the total amount to € 1.6 billion.

 

The Council also adopted temporary tariff cuts on Ukrainian goods, ahead of the application of the Association Agreement. The reduction of customs duties is expected to enter into force on 23 April.

 

The Council moreover strengthened EU sanctions against persons responsible for misappropriating Ukrainian state funds. It targeted four additional persons in Ukraine with an asset freeze.

 

Meeting of Defence Ministers

 

Mali

The Council established a civilian mission under the Common Security and Defence Policy to support the internal security forces in Mali. It will support the Malian state to ensure democratic order and the conditions for lasting peace through strategic advice and training for the three internal security forces in Mali, i.e. the police, Gendarmerie and Garde nationale.

 

The EU High Representative said:

"EUCAP Sahel Mali is a further demonstration of the EU's commitment to supporting reform in Mali. By assisting the Malian internal security forces with EU expertise, EUCAP will help build a lasting solution to Mali's security challenges."

 

The Council also extended the complementary EU training mission in Mali (EUTM Mali) by two years, i.e. until 18 May 2016. The mission supports the training and reorganisation of the Malian Armed Forces so as to help improve the military capacity of the Malian Armed Forces. The extension of the mandate will allow military training of four additional battalions as well as the implementation of additional tasks.

 

Ukraine

Over lunch, EU defence ministers discussed the effects of the Ukrainian crisis on the common security and defence policy, in the presence of 8ATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

 

 

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26 mars 2014 3 26 /03 /mars /2014 08:51
EDA Publishes Annual Report 2013

 

Brussels - 25 March, 2014 European Defence Agency

 

2013 was marked by the European Council in December where Heads of State and Government discussed defence topics. The Council Conclusions included important new taskings with clear timelines for the European Defence Agency (EDA). But while the European Council was a strong driver of the Agency’s work in 2013, this was not at the expense of other agreed priorities. 

 

The EDA Annual Report 2013 gives a clear and transparent overview of the EDA’s initiatives in the areas of capability development, armament cooperation, research and technology, industry and market as well as coordination with other European institutions and partners. It also features an overview of the recent reorganisation, important staff appointments as well as some facts and figures.


Download the EDA Annual Report 2013 here.

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16 mars 2014 7 16 /03 /mars /2014 20:50
Joint statement on Crimea by President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso

 

 

Brussels, 16 March 2014 EUCO 58/14 PRESSE 140 PR PCE 53

 

As stated by all 28 EU Heads of State or Government on 6 March 2014, the European Union considers the holding of the referendum on the future status of the territory of Ukraine as contrary to the Ukrainian Constitution and international law. The referendum is illegal and illegitimate and its outcome will not be recognised.

 

The solution to the crisis in Ukraine must be based on the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, in the framework of the Ukrainian Constitution as well as the strict adherence to international standards. Only working together through diplomatic processes, including direct discussions between the Governments of Ukraine and Russia, can we find a solution to the crisis. The European Union has a special responsibility for peace, stability and prosperity on the European continent and will continue pursuing these objectives using all available channels.

 

We reiterate the strong condemnation of the unprovoked violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and call on Russia to withdraw its armed forces to their pre-crisis numbers and the areas of their permanent stationing, in accordance with relevant agreements.

 

In advancing these goals, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs will evaluate the situation tomorrow in Brussels and decide on additional measures in line with the declaration of the Heads of State and Government of the EU of 6 March.

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5 mars 2014 3 05 /03 /mars /2014 18:40
Meeting of EU Heads of State or Government on Ukraine – 6 March in Brussels

 

Brussels, 5 March 2014 consilium.europa.eu

 

Following events in Ukraine, the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, has decided to convene an extraordinary meeting of EU Heads of State or Government this Thursday 6 March 2014 to discuss the situation in Ukraine and the EU's reaction.

 

At the Foreign Affairs Council on 3 March, the European Union strongly condemned the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces and called on Russia to immediately withdraw its armed forces to the areas of their permanent stationing. The EU also called for a peaceful solution to this crisis and full respect of international law. It remains ready to engage in constructive dialogue with all parties to this end.

 

In response to events, the EU and those member states who are participants of G8 have decided for the time being to suspend their participation in activities associated with the preparations for the G8 Summit in Sochi in June.

 

On 5 March, the Commission proposed a series of measures, notably economic and financial support, as the European Union's contribution to an international effort to support Ukraine. At least € 11 billion could be available over the next years from the EU budget and EU-based international financial institutions. This is to stabilise the economic and financial situation, assist with the transition and encourage political and economic reform.

 

In addition, the Council has decided to introduce EU sanctions targeting the misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds. Asset freezes will apply for 18 persons responsible in this regard as of 6 March.

 

For full details of the EU positions on Ukraine, see Council conclusions

.

For full details about EU aid to Ukraine, see press release and memo.

 

Indicative programme :

9.30 Arrival of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

11.30 Exchange of views with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

13.15 Press conference by Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

13.15 Working lunch among EU Heads of State or Government

15.00(tbc) Press conference by the European Council President and the Commission President

 

Full media programme

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European Council 19-20 December 2013

14 févr. 2014  European Defence Agency

 

Key defence statements made during the European Council of December 2013.

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by European Defence Agency

 

Annual Conference 2014

EDA Annual Conference 2014

On 27 March 2014, the EDA Annual Conference “European Defence Matters” will  again gather around 400 high-level speakers and participants. Frontline actors of defence cooperation as well as leaders from the military, politics and industry will engage in highly interactive panel debates and keynote speeches with plenty of opportunities for the audience to contribute to the discussion. 

More information

 

Dave Harding_EDA Video

New EDA Video

Do not miss our new corporate video, explaining the role and mission of the European Defence Agency. Learn more about some key projects and how the Agency cooperates with Member States. 

Watch now

 

Conference

Materiel Standardisation Conference 2014

The development of defence standards reduces costs and contributes to the interoperability of Member States’ military forces. 

For the preparation of a roadmap for the development of defence standards as mandated by the European Council in December 2013, EDA is organising a Materiel Standardisation Conference on 12 March 2014. 

More information on how to register is available here.

 

Council Conclusions Implementation: Way Forward
Council Conclusions Implementation: Way Forward

 

The European Council of December 2013 has provided clear taskings for the European Defence Agency. Their implementation in the areas of capability development, support to industry and enhanced defence cooperation will be the Agency’s top priority for 2014.  Capability developmentThe endorsement of four proposed capability programme...

 

read more

 

First EDA Supported Dual-Use Project Receives European Structural Funds
 

The Portuguese authority managing European Structural Funds has recently confirmed First EDA Supported Dual-Use Project Receives European Structural Fundsthe acceptance of the “TURTLE” project, financing around 60% of the total project budget. TURTLE is the first of seven dual-use research initiatives supported by the European Defence Agency to access European Structural Funds (ESF).

 

read more

 

EDA Multinational Exercises in 2014
 

Multinational training exercises increase interoperability among participating Member States; they are an efficient way to prepare armed forces for CSDP operations. This EDA Multinational Exercises in 2014year, the European Defence Agency is organising in close cooperation with the respective host nations, contributing Member States and Air Transport Organisations four training e...

 

read more

 

Progress for European Satellite Communication Procurement Cell (ESCPC)
 

Since the signature of a framework contract between EDA and Astrium Services in September 2012, Progress for European Satellite Communication Procurement Cell (ESCPC)ESCPC, the Agency’s initiative for the pooled procurement of commercial satellite communication services, has proven its operational and financial value by delivering concrete support to Member States. In 2013 the ESCPC scheme facilitated orders...

 

read more

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5 février 2014 3 05 /02 /février /2014 17:50
EDA’s role in implementing the European Council Conclusions - SEDE

 

05.02.2014 SEDE

 

The Subcommittee will exchange views with Claude-France Arnould, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency, on the EDA’s role in implementing the European Council Conclusions.

 

When: 12 February 2014

 

Further information meeting documents

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EUMC follow-up of the European Council on Defence - SEDE
 
The Subcommittee will exchange views with General Patrick de Rousiers, Chairman of the EU Military Committee, on the follow-up to the December 2013 European Council on Defence.
 
When : 12 February 2014

Further information meeting documents
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23 décembre 2013 1 23 /12 /décembre /2013 13:50
The conclusions of the European Council (19/20 December 2013).

 

Brussels, 20 December 2013 EUROPEAN COUNCIL - EUCO 217/13

 

For the first time since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Council held a thematic debate on defence. It identified priority actions for stronger cooperation. This debate was preceded by a meeting with the NATO Secretary-General. He presented his assessment of current and future security challenges and welcomed the ongoing efforts and commitments by the EU and its Member States as being compatible with, and beneficial to NATO.

 

The European Council welcomed the general approach reached by the Council on the Single Resolution Mechanism, which will be a cornerstone of the Banking Union. The European Council reviewed the economic situation and the progress in implementing the Compact for Growth, Jobs and Competitiveness. The European Council also identified the main features of the Partnerships for Growth, Jobs and Competitiveness to support structural reform, with a view to concluding discussions by October next year.

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20 décembre 2013 5 20 /12 /décembre /2013 13:50
EP President addresses Defence Summit - Subcommittee on Security and Defence

20-12-2013 SEDE

 

On 19 December 2013 the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz addressed the European Council. His speech, a large part of which is dedicated to European Security and Defence Policy, can be found below.


Further information Address (available in six languages):

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Background Information EU Council

 

Brussels - 16 December, 2013 European Defence Agency

 

Security and defence is on the agenda of the European Council of 19-20 December. EU leaders are expected to provide political guidance on the way ahead for the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Their discussion will be cover the effectiveness, visibility and impact of CSDP; capabilities and defence industry. 

 

The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is an essential tool in the foreign policy of the European Union. Since 2003, the EU has deployed some 30 missions and operations around the world. CSDP also offers the framework for enhanced cooperation among Member States by Pooling & Sharing military capabilities, the only way forward in a context of growing threats and budgetary limitations. It also supports the strengthening of the European defence industry, which is essential for the EU's strategic autonomy as well as a driver for jobs, growth and innovation. 

 

In preparation to the EU Council, the European Defence Agency made proposals for four capability programmes and their associated roadmaps in order to address critical shortfalls identified in recent operations: 

  • Air-to-Air Refuelling, with the objective of establishing a multinational fleet from 2019;

  • Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, with the objective of laying the foundations for a European solution in the 2020-2025 timeframe;

  • Governmental Satellite Communication, with the objective of preparing the next generation in the 2025 timeframe; 

  • Cyber Defence, with a focus on technology, training and protection of EU assets. 

 

EDA also proposed measures to back defence industry in Europe, including SMEs, by supporting research and innovation in Europe through prioritisation (list of European critical defence technologies), investment in critical technologies and greater synergies with EU instruments. More information can be found in the dedicated factsheets here below.

 

More information:

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European Council in December 2013

26 Nov. 2013 EU Defence Agency

 

Heads of State and Government will discuss security and defence topics during the next European Council on 19/20 December 2013. Background information, news, videos and more from the Council of the European Union, the European External Action Service, EDA, and European Commission are now available on a dedicated website.

Access the website 

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Claude-France Arnould, EDA Chief Executive

Claude-France Arnould, EDA Chief Executive

 

11th November 2013  – by Daniel Fiott - europeangeostrategy.org


Over the past year, the Senior Editors of European Geostrategy have been undertaking a number of interviews with various individuals who are involved in thinking about European foreign, security and military policies. In this interview, Daniel Fiott talks with Claude-France Arnould, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency, on European military capability development, the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base and the upcoming European Council meeting on defence.

Read the interview

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29 octobre 2013 2 29 /10 /octobre /2013 20:50
Future of European Defence Debate
24.10.2013 SEDE
 
The SEDE subcommittee and the Foreign Affairs Committee together with the Chairs of the relevant Committees of the National Parliaments will exchange views on the future of European Defence in view of the December European Council.
 
When: 5 November 2013       

 

Further information meeting documents
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29 octobre 2013 2 29 /10 /octobre /2013 20:50
Future of European Defence Debate
24.10.2013 SEDE
 
The SEDE subcommittee and the Foreign Affairs Committee together with the Chairs of the relevant Committees of the National Parliaments will exchange views on the future of European Defence in view of the December European Council.
 
When: 5 November 2013       

 

Further information meeting documents
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22 mars 2013 5 22 /03 /mars /2013 11:10

http://www.eda.europa.eu/images/default-source/news-pictures/edm_euhvr_1

 

Brussels | Mar 22, 2013 European Defence Agency

 

Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, detailed in his special address during the EDA Annual Conference 2013 his ideas on a pragmatic way forward for defence in Europe.

 

The speech, which was delivered in front of around 500 attendees and 17 high-level speakers, covered Mr Van Rompuy’s perception of defence cooperation today and in future, the importance of the European Council discussions on defence in December as well as achievements of the European Defence Agency.

More information:
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