The European Defence Agency’s new Effective Procurement Methods work strand, launched in July 2011 to complement the Pooling & Sharing initiative, is about identifying existing common (off-the-shelf) demand of groups of Member States and translating such demand into joint procurement. Pooling and thus consolidating demand does not only respond to a constant call from European Defence Industries but, in times of austerity and declining defence budgets, has also become almost a necessity to further sustain our Armed Forces. As regards economies of scale and shared administrative costs, previous cooperative procurement cases show savings of 20% to up to 50%.
From the very beginning, the EPM work strand has followed a twin track approach to develop a generic, slim and flexible concept and to prove it in parallel through actual pilot cases. Our research has revealed the identifying existing common demand is more likely in specific areas of defence procurement which stretch from third party logistics and basic military equipment to ammunition and training services. So it does not come as a surprise that the first pilot cases have been established in exactly these fields.
In this specific case, two countries have joined forces to conduct the common counter-IED training exercise European Guardian. Whereas Luxembourg provides the funds to contract the training services, Austria offers the respective training site. As European Guardian will be open to experts from all Member States, the savings of this Joint Procurement Initiative, which has been established through an EDA Ad hoc project endorsed by the Steering Board end of last week in a silence procedure, is even more pertinent.