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CE visits the Netherlands for high level talks

EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý was in the Netherlands today for high-level talks with Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren, Chief of Defence (CHOD) General Onno Eichelsheim, National Armaments Director (and current Chair of EDA’s Steering Board in NAD composition) Vice Admiral Arie Jan de Waard, as well as other high-level decision makers at the Ministry of Defence. He also met with industry representatives. The trip to The Hague was part of Mr Šedivý’s ‘tour des capitales’ that sees him visiting all EDA Member States.

The discussions with Minister Ollongren mainly focused on the Netherland’s strong involvement in EDA’s current activities the war in Ukraine and its potential impact on EU defence cooperation and spending, future defence investment programmes and cooperation opportunities (including joint procurement and acquisition) to mitigate the current defence gaps. EDA’s role in the implementation of the Strategic Compass as well as the initial phase of the new Hub for European Defence Innovation (HEDI) within EDA, were also discussed. 

To date, the Netherlands participates in a total of 63 EDA projects and programmes of which 19 are even led by the country. The latter include crucial cooperation domains such as the EU Multimodal Transport Hub Network, the Sharing of Spare Parts (SoSP), the Joint Deployable Exploitation and Analysis Laboratory (JDEAL) or the planning and organisation of future ‘Bison Counter’ exercises in the countering of Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) domain. The total value of EDA programmes and projects in which the Netherlands is involved and where a project arrangement has been agreed currently stands at roughly €138 million. The Netherlands also participates in 12 PESCO projects, one of which is led by it (Military Mobility). 

“I am grateful to the Netherlands for being a driving force behind European defence cooperation in general, and EDA’s activities in particular. For proof, it is the third most active EDA Member State when it comes to participation in Agency projects and programmes. More than that: crucial work strands to collaboratively develop new defence enablers and capabilities - such as the PESCO project on Military Mobility, EDA’s Sharing of Spare Parts project or joint European efforts to counter Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) - are led by the Netherlands which is also the host of important cooperation facilities, such as the Multinational Multirole Tanker and Transport Fleet (MMF) and the European Air Transport Command (EATC) in Eindhoven, or the Joint Deployable Exploitation and Analysis Laboratory (JDEAL) in Soesterberg. I can only thank the Dutch authorities for their strong commitment to EDA’s work and European defence, and encourage them to pursue on this path”, Mr Šedivý commented.