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Support to operations: new opportunities

The European Defence Agency (EDA) recently published two calls for tender from operation EUFOR ALTHEA on its Contractor Support to Operations (CSO) platform. The signature of the cooperation arrangement with the ATHENA mechanism in March 2015 provides new impetus for the usage of the CSO platform.

Procuring customised assets such as armored vehicles or specific services (e.g. air to ground surveillance) can be challenging especially on short notice. EDA assists EU military operations in fulfilling their complex goods or services needs through the CSO platform, a powerful tool of interaction. The CSO platform connects economic operators and EU-led operations by for example actively promoting business opportunities. Economic operators are invited to subscribe to the platform database to receive information on business opportunities advertised by governmental and institutional authorities.

Currently operation EUFOR ALTHEA is looking for the provision of jet fuel distribution services and food, water and catering supply. Full description of the contract notice can be found at


Support to operations

Since the creation of the European Defence Agency in 2004, support to the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and to EU operations has been one of EDA's core missions. Several activities are now ongoing to develop the role of the Agency in support of CSDP military and civilian operations or missions as well as EU Battlegroups at the request of Member States.

Procurement of contracted solutions has become increasingly relevant for EU military operations not only to fill capability gaps in the force generation process, but also as a general planned support for ongoing operations.

The arrangement with ATHENA opens the option for the Athena Administrator or any Operation/Mission Commanders as Contracting Authorities to call upon EDA to provide, upon its expertise and available means and capabilities, technical and overall administrative support for procurement of infrastructure works, as well as a variety of services or supplies, through direct contracts or pre-mission solutions, e.g. through framework contracts.

The Agency plans to further upgrade the CSO platform to respond to new requirements and to turn the platform into an one-stop solution for procurement by operations. Regular updates for industry including a workshop are planned. 

(c) Picture: EUFOR ALTHEA/Herbert PENDL

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