EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý, visited Ireland for high-level talks with Micheál Martin, Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister of Defence, and senior officials from the Irish Department of Defence. The Chief Executive also met with members of the Irish Defence & Security Association. The trip to Dublin was part of Mr Šedivý’s ‘tour des capitales’, which sees him visiting all the EDA’s Member States.
The discussions with Minister Martin mainly focused on Ireland’s ongoing and increased involvement in EDA’s activities, new opportunities for EDA to support Irish defence efforts and the upcoming EU Capability Development Plan (CDP). Mr Šedivý also met with senior officials from the Irish Department of Defence, including; Secretary General Department of Defence, Jacqui Mc Crum, Defence Policy Director, Bernie Maguire and Capability and National Armament Director, Eamon Murtagh. During the second day of the visit, the Chief Executive also held discussions with senior Irish Defence Forces’ personnel, Col Matt Byrne, Director of Ordnance and Lt Col Fred O Donovan, Strategic Planning Branch.
To date, Ireland participates in a total of 11 EDA projects and programmes. These include: the European Centre for Manual Neutralisation Capabilities; the EU SatCom market; Military Search Capacity Building and MARSUR Networking. Ireland also signed EDA’s recent collaborative procurement projects for ammunition, CBRN and soldier equipment, and is awaiting acceptance into the MICNET projects, as part for a recent government decision to join four projects within the Agency. Ireland also participates in four projects under the Permanent Structured Cooperation mechanism, PESCO, and is an observer in 21 projects.
“My visit to Dublin is particularly important as the cooperation between the Agency and Ireland has been growing. Over the past few years, Irish participation and interest in the EDA has only increased and I believe there are further opportunities ahead to deepen the Agency’s support to Ireland. The recent signature by Ireland to join EDA’s ambitious collaborative procurement projects is a testament to EDA’s tailored support on offer to all its Member States”, Jiří Šedivý said.
“I very much welcome the Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency to Dublin. Ireland has been a participating member of the Agency since its establishment in 2004. We work closely with the EDA to enable the delivery of key capabilities for the Defence Forces. Engagement in EDA Projects allows access to training, information sharing and key technologies that we simply would not be able to achieve on our own. Ireland will continue to use all opportunities to enhance and develop Defence Forces capabilities through the EDA”, Micheál Martin, Tánaiste and Minister of Defence said.
EDA’s wider role
EDA supports all EU Member States in improving their defence capabilities through European cooperation. Acting as an enabler and facilitator for Ministries of Defence willing to engage in collaborative capability projects, the Agency has become the hub for European defence cooperation with expertise and networks spanning the whole spectrum of defence capabilities.
Member States use EDA as an intergovernmental expert platform where their collaborative projects are supported, facilitated, and implemented. For more details, please see here.