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Head of the EDA, Javier Solana (left) with Alexander Weis, EDA’s Chief Executive. Image credit: The Council of the European Union.

European Defence Agency Established) on 12 July 2004, the European Defence Agency (EDA) is designed “to support the Council and the Member States in their effort to improve European defence capabilities in the field of crisis management and to sustain the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP)...”. Walter F. Ullrich explains.


hen the EDA was founded it was not entering unknown territory. Several organisations already existed that promoted the development of a more or KMW_ad_MS&T_May.qxd 09.04.2009 13:08 Uhr less unified European armaments market



- perhaps too many, because initiatives sometimes overlapped. The OCCAR and the LoI/Framework Agreement managed collaborative European Armament Programmes, Seite 1 and so did the Western European Armaments Organization (WEAO)

and the Western European Armaments Group (WEAG). In the strict sense the EDA is a continuation of the work of the WEAO and WEAG, transferring their functions from the to some extent dormant Western European Union (WEU) to the wider post-Cold War European Union framework. The EDA, as an agency of the European Union, is under the direction and authority of the European Council. The Head of the Agency is Javier Solana, the former NATO Secretary General, now High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy - a kind of EU Foreign Minister. The defence ministers of the Agency’s 26 Member States (all EU members except Denmark) and one member of the European Commission control the Agency. In addition, the national armaments directors, national research directors, national capability planners and policy directors meet regularly for detailed control and guidance. Despite its high-ranking personnel, the budget appears rather moderate. Average annual funding of the EDA is in the range of $40 million. The EDA has achieved much more during its five years of existence than both opponents and protagonists would have thought. The first major achievement was the approval of a voluntary Code of Conduct on

MS&T Magazine - Issue 2/2009  

Military Simulation & Training Magazine - The International Defence Training Journal.

MS&T Magazine - Issue 2/2009  

Military Simulation & Training Magazine - The International Defence Training Journal.