In November 2007, the Ministerial Steering Board approved four collective benchmarks for investment: 

  • Equipment procurement (including R&D/R&T)
    20% of total defence spending
  • European collaborative equipment procurement
    35% of total equipment spending
  • Defence Research & Technology
    2% of total defence spending
  • European collaborative defence R&T
    20% of total defence R&T spending     

These benchmarks are collective: they apply to the total sum spent by all EDA Member States together. They are  voluntary: turning them into national targets is optional. There are no timelines for realising these benchmarks. Indicators showing the evolution towards these collective benchmarks can be found in the last pages of the annual Defence Data booklet.


EDA collects defence data on an annual basis. The Ministries of Defence of the Agency's 27 participating Member States (all EU Member States except Denmark) provide the data. EDA acts as the custodian of the data, and every year publishes the figures of the previous year once these are noted by the Agency's Steering Board. On occasion, the data can be revised during the year. The calendar year is that running from 1 January to 31 December.
The data are broken down, based on a list of indicators approved by the Agency’s Ministerial Steering Board. These indicators are grouped under five sections:

  • Total Defence Expenditure
    Illustrates how defence budgets relate to GDP and overall government spending.

  • Defence Personnel

    Shows the ratio between military and civilian personnel and provides information on defence expenditure and investment per military.

  • Defence Expenditure Breakdown

    Provides data on the major defence expenditure categories – personnel; investment, including research & development (R&D)/research & technology (R&T); operations & maintenance (O&M), and other – to show what defence budgets are spent on.

  • European collaboration
    For defence equipment procurement and R&T, demonstrates to what extent the Agency’s participating Member States are investing together.

  • Deployability
    Shows the ratio between the military deployed in crisis management operations and the remaining military personnel, and provides data on deployable and sustainable forces, as well as on costs of deployed  operations.


  • EDA receives the data from the Ministeries of Defence of  the 27 participating Member States. On occasions the data can be revised and this may have an impact on the overall aggregated figures. 
  • Data on GDP, general government expenditure and population are collected from Eurostat. However, this data is occasionally revised which may impact some of the data calculated by EDA.

  • The aggregated data referring to the total of all EDA participating Member States may differ from other sources due to rounding.

  • For some spending categories, a margin of error exists as accounting systems in the participating Member States differ. Nevertheless, the presented data represents the best publicly available figures.


Data collection is based on definitions approved by the participating Member States. The Definitions above have been shortened and edited for publication purpose.

Note. Until 2008 Personnel expenditure had a breakdown: (1) Pay and allowances paid to: military personnel; civilian personnel. (2) Pensions – only if paid directly by the MoD to: retired military personnel; retired civilian employees.

  • Average number of troops deployed
  • Civilian personnel
  • Collaboration
  • Defence equipment procurement expenditure
  • Defence Research and Development (R&D) expenditure
  • Defence Research and Technology (R&T) expenditure
  • Deployable (Land) Forces
  • European Collaboration (a subset of Collaboration)
  • Infrastructure/construction expenditure
  • Internal security military personnel
  • Investment
  • Macroeconomic data
  • Military personnel
  • Operation and Maintenance (O&M) expenditure
  • Operations costs
  • Outsourcing
  • Personnel expenditure
  • Sustainable (Land) Forces
  • Total defence expenditure