EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý was in Finland for high-level talks with Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen and the Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces, General Timo Kivinen. Mr Šedivý also heard from Finnish defence ministry experts on how to foster European cooperation in the Arctic and met representatives from the Finnish defence and aerospace industry. The trip to Helsinki was part of Mr Šedivý’s ‘tour des capitales’, which sees him visiting all the EDA’s Member States.
CE VISITS MULTINATIONAL PROJECTS INVOLVING FINLAND
The discussions with Minister Kaikkonen mainly focused on Finland’s involvement in the EDA’s activities, the war in Ukraine and its impact on EU defence cooperation, spending and joint European procurement, and Finland’s accession to NATO. The minister and the chief executive also discussed the revision of the EU’s defence capability priorities contained in the Capability Development Plan (CDP).
Mr Šedivý met with the Secretary General of the Association of Finnish Defence and Aerospace Industries (AFDA), Tuija Karanko, and representatives of the Finnish defence industry.
Mr Šedivý visited Patria and Millog in Hämeenlinna, where he was shown the multinational projects of the Common Armoured Vehicle System (CAVS), and the European Future Highly Mobile Augmented Armoured Systems 2 (FAMOUS 2), which have received funding at the EU level.
To date, Finland participates in a total of 25 EDA projects and programmes. These include: capability projects on Cyber Ranges; EU Multimodal Transport Hubs; the EU SatCom market, where Finland is the biggest user; the Governmental Satellite Communications Demonstration; the Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP); Helicopter Training Centre; and the Sharing of Spare parts. It is also involved in 12 research projects currently underway at the EDA, for instance in areas such as the Combat Unmanned Ground System, Laser Detection of Underwater Targets, and Modular Lightweight Minesweeping.
The total value of EDA programmes and projects in which Finland participates, and where a project arrangement has been agreed, stands at some €117 million. Finland also participates in five projects under the Permanent Structured Cooperation mechanism, PESCO. These are: Military Mobility; the Integrated Unmanned Ground System; Cyber Ranges Federation; the European Secure Software defined Radio (ESSOR); and the Timely Warning and Interception with Space-based TheatER surveillance.
“Finland is an active member of EDA and brings a lot of expertise to the Agency’s collaborative projects and programmes. Finland is participating in five PESCO projects, one of which is going to be finalised next year, namely the Integrated Unmanned Ground System project. These are encouraging signals. In the face of massive security challenges, especially now with the war in Ukraine, cooperation remains the most effective way forward for European defence”, Mr Šedivý said.
Minister Kaikkonen stated: “Finland is a security provider. Finland’s strong national defence and resilience have contributed to the security and stability of the region. The EU and its Member States have been compelled to react to the current security situation. The EDA has made valuable contributions to support the Member States. As the minister of defence, I wish to use EDA for turning our plans into military capabilities. The EDA is helping us in developing capabilities in a cost-effective manner.”