In this page, you find reference documents for background purposes.

23 May 2011
EDA Defence Ministers Steering Board: The European Defence Market
"The European Union has to be adequately equipped in order to fulfil its ambition and to respond to current and future security and defence challenges. This would not be possible without a robust European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB), which ensures security of supply, is able to meet Member States’ needs including in times of operational urgency, and supports national sovereignty and EU autonomy.
Such an EDTIB, in particular in the current economic climate, must be underpinned by an increasingly competitive defence market that can provide its customers with robust, flexible and interoperable equipment in the most cost–effective and efficient way.
In order to improve cost-effectiveness and efficiency of the European defence market – both on the demand and supply side – the Steering Board tasked the Agency, in close consultation with the participating Member States and in cooperation with the European Commission, to:
  • Intensify work to ensure security of supply on a European level.
  • Contribute to encourage more open competition whilst taking account of national sovereignty in defence.
  • Explore new opportunities for more effective procurement methods.
  • Develop guidelines and best practices facilitating bi- and multilateral collaborative procurement.
  • Work towards increased global competitiveness of the European defence industry and reciprocal market access.
  • Examine and evaluate the implications of the development of a wider European Defence and Security Market.
  • Continue a constructive dialogue with defence industry.
The Agency has already initiated work to take this forward. These actions will not only help us to further develop an increasingly open and globally competitive EDEM but would also support pooling and sharing efforts to meet future military needs, ensure interoperability and standardisation, and share the ever-increasing costs of developing and procuring high-technology defence equipment.
30 November 2011
Defence Ministers Steering Board: Pooling and Sharing
Over the past decade, European defence budgets have been declining steadily. The current financial crisis is exacerbating the situation and resulting in further deep cuts.  European armed forces have increased their international cooperation for the development of defence capabilities. However, a number of capability gaps continue to exist, as illustrated by the recent operation in Libya. There is also overcapacity in certain areas at the European level, for which there is scope for rationalisation.
On 30 November 2011 Defence Ministers registered their strong support for measures to pool and share military assets and capabilities and endorsed a package of new areas of Pooling & Sharing that EDA will coordinate and facilitate.
13 December 2011
Speech by High Representative and Head of Agency Catherine Ashton on the Common Security and Defence Policy in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, 13 December 2011
"On military capabilities, the 30 November EDA Steering Board delivered concrete Member States' commitments in specific projects, including in areas where the Libya crisis showed our shortfalls. This is a good first step towards more substantial achievements next spring, also in view of the NATO Chicago summit.
As indicated by the Lisek Report, there is no alternative to cooperation in this area. Multinational cooperation must become the rule rather than the exception, in order to preserve and develop Europe's defence capabilities. I agree with MEP Lisek that Pooling & Sharing is a means of delivering enhanced capabilities and of offsetting defence budget cuts. As the Head of the European Defence Agency, I will continue to make every effort to facilitate cooperation among and between Member States and to increase the global competitiveness and efficiency of the European defence industry."
14 December 2011
European Parliament resolution
European Parliament resolution of 14 December 2011 on the impact of the financial crisis on the defence sector in the EU Member States is a significant contribution to the debate on how to refocus defence cooperation in Europe. Mr. Krzysztof Lisek, MEP, Vice President of the Security and Defence Committee who prepared the report will deliver a keynote speech highlighting the European Parliament’s recommendations during the EDA Annual Conference 2012.

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