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“Guidelines for facilitating SMEs’ access to the defence market” agreed by EDA’s participating Member States

On 9 October 2009, the EDA Steering Board in National Armaments Directors formation approved “Guidelines for facilitating SMEs’ access to the defence market”.

The Guidelines provide non-binding recommendations for possible measures to be implemented by national authorities to support SMEs operating in the defence market.

These Guidelines address a number of issues crucial for SMEs: access to information, equal conditions for main- and subcontractors, minimum reaction time for smaller contracts, protection of SME-owned Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and fostering industrial cooperation with SMEs in R&D/R&T projects.

Recognising the special role of the governments in the defence market, the Guidelines have been developed to direct the governments' attention to SMEs, and to create favourable conditions for participation of these companies in the defence market.  

The Guidelines are complementary to the existing documents directed towards facilitating SMEs' access to the market and ensuring transparency and competition in the defence market - the Small Business Act for Europe, the Code of Conduct on defence procurement and the Code of Best Practice in the Supply Chain.