EU Defence Ministers approve reinforced mandate for European Defence Agency

Source: European Defence Agency (EDA)

On May 28, at the Steering Board of the European Defence Agency (EDA), the 27 EU Ministers of Defence approved the Agency’s 2024 Long-Term Review (LTR). As strategic guidance given to EDA, the 2024 LTR outlines five core tasks for the Agency with a stronger focus on supporting Member States through the full development cycle of military capabilities. Ministers agreed to increase the number of EDA’s core tasks from three to five, with dedicated taskings on aggregating demand towards joint procurement and enabling collaborative defence research, technology, and innovation. Ministers were also briefed on preliminary opportunities stemming from the 2024 Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) and marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Agency.



Ministers of Defence endorsed an update of the Agency’s mandate to fully reflect the deteriorated security environment in Europe and the evolving role of the Agency within the EU defence landscape, marking 20 years since its establishment. Reflecting the dramatic geopolitical changes since 2017, when the last iteration of the LTR was approved, the 2024 LTR outlines how the Agency can support Ministries of Defence (MoDs) along all the capability development cycle, including limited off-the-shelf acquisitions, when Member States so decide.

The LTR also bolsters EDA role to voice MoDs’ joint positions at EU level and ensure the coherent alignment of current and future EU defence initiatives, policies, and legislation. The LTR also calls for the Agency to reinforce mutually beneficial cooperation with NATO through the conclusion of an Administrative Arrangement and fully leverage synergies with EU stakeholders to reflect defence needs.



Head of European Defence Agency and HR/VP, Josep Borrell said: “The European Defence Agency must have a more strategic role if we want to live up to the level of ambition that we have set for EU Defence in the Strategic Compass. The EU needs to develop defence capabilities to address the full range of threats we are facing. With a stronger and clearer vision, focused on capability development and the launch of concrete projects, the Agency can play a key role in building stronger and better equipped armed forces.”

EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý said: “This renewed and strengthened mandate ensures that Ministries of Defence have an Agency that is fit for the future. Ministers of Defence have endorsed a review that enhances the Agency’s ambitions, visibility, and support for Member States. With expanded tasks and a stronger intergovernmental voice, Ministers signal the Agency’s crucial role in bolstering EU defence capabilities.”




Ministers were also presented with a preliminary assessment on the possible actionable collaborative opportunities stemming from the third CARD cycle. This Steering Board was used as an opportunity to allow Ministers to provide early guidance to help sharpen and finalise the opportunities to be highlighted in the final CARD Report which will be presented in November.

Before the Steering Board was formally opened, Head of Agency, Josep Borrell, and EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý and Deputy Chief Executive, André Denk, marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Agency. Created in 2004, EDA has played a pivotal role in greater European defence cooperation, and made tangible contributions to EU defence planning, capabilities, training and innovations.


Source: European Defence Agency (EDA).



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