EDA’s Steering Board in National Armament Directors’ (NAD) composition met today in VTC format under the chairmanship of Bulgaria’s Deputy Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov. NADs’ discussion focused on the implementation of the 2020 CARD report recommendations and EDA’s roles in support of the European Defence Fund.
After a presentation by Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý on the progress made on a wide range of EDA projects, programmes and activities, National Armaments Directors discussed the state of play and next steps to be taken as regards the implementation of the recommendations of the first CARD report presented to Defence Ministers in November 2020 - a topic that will also feature high on the agenda of EDA’s upcoming Ministerial Steering Board meeting on 6 May.
Food for Thought
There was a general understanding that particular attention must be paid to transforming the identified focus areas and collaborative opportunities into concrete projects. To support this process, EDA provided NADs with a Food for Thought paper (FFT) on how to implement CARD capability-related recommendations, focused on those which are within the Agency’s remit: defence spending, defence planning and defence cooperation. In each of the three areas, EDA proposes achievable objectives for 2021 as well as options on how EDA could support the Member States in their efforts. The FFT paper was discussed today by NADs and, after the 6 May ministerial debate, will also be on the table of EDA’s Steering Board in Capability Directors’ (CAP) composition in June.
Support to EDF
In the presence of Director-General Timo Pesonen of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space (DG DEFIS), NADs also exchanged views on how and in what roles EDA can best add value in supporting the European Defence Fund (EDF). The debate led to further common understanding among participating Member States and was based on an Agency document on EDA’s potential roles in the EDF across the upstream, implementation, and downstream phases.
Relations with partners
NADs also had an exchange of views on the Agency’s relations with OCCAR and NATO. For those two discussions they were joined respectively by OCCAR Executive Director Matteo Bisceglia and NATO's Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment Division, Skip Davis.