EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý was in Greece this week (12-14 July) for high-level talks with the Minister of National Defence, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, the Chief of National Defence, General Konstantinos Floros, the National Armaments Director, Aristeidis Alexopoulos and several senior representatives of the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs. He also attended the Greek defence exhibition DEFEA and participated in an industry workshop co-organised by the Agency and the Greek Ministry of Defence.
The ongoing work on the EU’s Strategic Compass, the implementation of the recommendations made in the first Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), the state of play of the various PESCO projects with Greek involvement (the country participates in 16 PESCO projects, one of the highest numbers among participating Member States, and coordinates five of them), EDA’s role as the European hub for collaborative capability development and driver of defence innovation, Greece’s involvement in EDA projects and programmes as well as EU-NATO cooperation were among the main topics discussed.
“I am delighted to have this opportunity to visit Greece as it is an important stakeholder and active contributor to EDA’s projects and programmes. With Minister Panagiotopoulos, I expressed my gratitude for Greece’s particularly active role in PESCO as well as its valuable contributions to the Agency’s activities, especially in areas such as maritime surveillance (MARSUR project), research and development (R&D) or the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS). In these challenging times, I particularly welcome the strong support from Greece to EDA and European defence cooperation”, Mr Šedivý commented.
Industry workshop, ministerial round-table
On Tuesday, the Chief Executive attended the opening ceremony of the Defence Exhibition Athens (DEFEA, from 13-15 July) where international companies present land, naval, aerospace, national and cyber security defence systems.
In the margins of the exhibition, Mr Šedivý participated in an industry workshop co-organised by EDA and the Greek Ministry of Defence where he spoke about EDA’s support to innovative capability development.
Also in the margins of the DEFEA exhibition, the EDA Chief Executive furthermore moderated a ministerial round-table focused on the state of implementation of the EU defence initiatives - CARD, PESCO, EDF - in which participated four acting Defence Ministers: Greece’s Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, Cyprus’ Charalambos Petrides, Portugal’s João Gomes Cravinho and Slovenia’s Matej Tonin.