Today, Portugal’s new Minister of Defence, Helena Carreiras, and her delegation were received at the Agency by Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý and Deputy Chief Executive Olli Ruutu. It was the first bilateral meeting between EDA’s top management and the Minister since her appointment last March.
Mr Šedivý informed Minister Carreiras about EDA’s current work in support of collaborative defence research and capability development in Europe and thanked her for Portugal’s strong support and active participation in the Agency’s projects and programmes. The Chief Executive also briefed the Minister about latest developments, such as the recent establishment of a Hub for European Defence Innovation (HEDI) within the Agency, the upcoming finalisation of the second Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), and the Agency’s involvement in the EU’s military response to the war in Ukraine, including joint efforts to fill defence investment and capability gaps in Europe.
The Minister was also provided with short presentations of projects of specific relevance for Portugal, such as the Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC) which is currently being established at Sintra Airbase in Portugal and will be handed over EDA’s full range of helicopter training activities by October 2023. Among the other projects presented to the Minister were the European Detonation Code project (EuDetCode – in which Portugal is participating) as well as the PREMIUM project aimed at improving the Health and Usage Monitoring Systems-based management of munitions through the establishment of models for the estimation of the ageing and health status of munitions.
“Portugal is an active and important contributor to EDA’s projects, programmes and activities. I gladly remember the very productive Portuguese EU Presidency in the first half of 2021 when we jointly organised a successful conference on disruptive technologies and a symposium on military mobility. I particularly want to commend Portugal for its leading role in the Agency’s helicopter training and exercise activities. I’m confident we can pursue the very good cooperation we always had in view of transferring EDA’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), its Helicopter Tactics Course (HTC) and its Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course (HTIC) to the new permanent Multinational Helicopter Training Centre in Sintra by autumn 2023. Another example of Portugal’s fruitful participation in EDA’s work is the Cyber Defence Training & Exercise Coordination Platform (CD TEXP), a web-based tool developed at the Agency to coordinate and deliver joint cyber training courses and exercises, which was handed over last month to the Portuguese Ministry of Defence which will host the new asset”, Mr Šedivý stated.