EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq arrived in Berne on 10 April for a two days working visit. During the visit, Mr Domecq has met with Nathalie Falcone-Goumaz, Secretary-General of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport, Martin Sonderegger, the National Armaments Director, as well as other high-level representatives of the national administration, defence industry and universities. Discussions focused on Switzerland’s current and potential future contributions to EDA projects and programmes as well as on the latest defence initiatives on EU level. This was a follow up to Mr Domecq's meeting with the Swiss Minister of Defence that took place in the margins of the Munich Security Conference on 16 February 2018.
Switzerland concluded a framework for cooperation with the European Defence Agency (EDA) in 2012 enabling it to participate in EDA projects and programmes on a case by case basis. Mr Domecq welcomed the opportunity to discuss EDA initiatives with representatives from the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport, Armasuisse as well as the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Further discussions were held with representatives of the Swiss defence industry, research institutes and universities.
The meeting with Secretary-General Falcone-Goumaz included discussions on the general state of play of the Implementation Plan on Security and Defence of the EU Global Strategy including the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), the Permanent Structured Cooperation on security and defence (PESCO) and the European Defence Fund, with focus of the discussions on EDA's role in all three initiatives.
National Armaments Director Martin Sonderegger and Jorge Domecq further conferred over Switzerland’s contributions to EDA work. Recently, Switzerland joined an innovative research & technology project in the land domain (PASEI - Protection of Autonomous Systems Against Enemy Interference). An additional project in the area of CBRN and Human Factors is under consideration. Switzerland has also demonstrated interest in participating in EDA's Capability Technolgy Groups as well as on activities where EDA acts as a military interface to EU policies such as on chemicals (REACH), Single European Sky or energy topics. Other possible areas for cooperation investigated were on cyber as well as opportunities in the land sector.