EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq and Hans-Werner Grenzhäuser, the Athena Administrator, have signed an arrangement renewing the framework for future cooperation between EDA and Athena.
The Cooperation Arrangement signed on 1 February 2019 aims at replacing the previous arrangement which was signed on 27 February 2015 and was valid for a limited period. It offers the option for any CSDP Operation/Mission Commander to call upon EDA to provide technical and overall administrative support for their most complex procurement procedures. The full text of the arrangement is available here.
Under the previous arrangement, the Agency has supported the EU Training Mission in Mali for the procurement in Europe of a medical incinerator between May 2015 and February 2016. EDA also supported operation EUFOR ALTHEA in Bosnia and Herzegovina for a cost-benefit analysis of camp management in the Sarajevo Camp Butmir from July to October 2015.
In addition, the Agency supports CSDP military operations and missions with other projects as well as contracted support pre-mission solutions. On the project side this has so far included cyber awareness seminars, maritime surveillance, personnel management as well as management of geospatial information. Contracted support reaches from satellite communications to wider logistics support.
This has already been the case for CSDP military operations in the Central African Republic (EUFOR RCA and later EUTM RCA), the Mediterranean Sea (EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia), Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR Althea), Mali (EUTM Mali), Somalia (EUTM Somalia and EUNAVFOR Atalanta).
Most recently, EDA also started supporting the newly established Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) with contracted communication services, and it is supporting CSDP civilian missions as well.
The Athena Mechanism
Athena is the mechanism established to administer the financing of the common costs of European Union operations having military or defence implications governed by Council Decision 2015/528/CFSP. The Council Decision allows for arrangements to be negotiated with Union bodies to facilitate procurement and/or financial aspects of mutual support in operations in the most cost-effective manner.