Cover Story

15 years supporting European Defence

This special edition of our magazine is entirely focused on the European Defence Agency’s 15th Anniversary which is being celebrated this summer. Together with previous and current stakeholders, decision-makers and partners, we look back at how the Agency has evolved over the past 15 years, what it has achieved so far and what its future prospects are.

Joint interview

Cooperation pioneers, innovators, facilitators – Joint interview with EDA’s former & current Chief Executives

To tap into EDA’s collective memory, European Defence Matters brought together those who, as Chief Executives, have steered the Agency through fifteen exciting yet challenging years: Nick Witney (2004–2007), Claude-France Arnould (2011–2015) and Jorge Domecq (in charge since 2015). Alexander Weis, who served as Chief Executive from 2007-2011, could unfortunately not join this exceptional come-together. Question Time.

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Like a heavily weighted train pulling out of its station, the European Defence Agency’s initial efforts after its creation in 2004 were small forward motions, slowly gathering momentum and expertise.

From small feasibility studies and backdoor policy consultations with its Member States, the Agency has now grown into a central hub for defence planning, aligning R&D goals among its defence ministries, liaising with EU authorities on their behalf and, above all, shaping European capability development. Not to forget the crucial role it plays in ensuring coherence among the several EU defence initiatives (revised CDP, CARD, PESCO, EDF) launched since 2016.

As the following pages show, it’s been an exciting ride – and one whose momentum can only increase over the next 15 years.


MBDA’s new CEO Eric Béranger shares his views and analyses

In an exclusive interview with European Defence Matters, MBDA’s new CEO Eric Béranger shares his views and analysis on how European defence cooperation and EDA’s role in it have evolved over the past 15 years and what the industrial prospects and challenges are for the future. He also touches upon the implementation of the most recent EU defence initiatives, some current and upcoming European capability projects as well as Brexit.

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By former NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy & Planning, Heinrich Brauss

Europe and North America, NATO and the European Union face unprecedented challenges and threats from multiple directions. To the east, Russia’s aggressive actions aim to destabilise and intimidate neighbours and Allies and undermine NATO and the EU. To the south, instability, continuing crises, regional conflicts and wars across North Africa and the Middle East have fuelled terrorism and caused mass migration affecting Europe’s stability. In addition, China’s global aspirations, economic potential and growing military power increasingly challenge the transatlantic community.

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Close partners, strong cooperation – Anniversary reflections by some of EDA’s main partners

Over the past 15 years, the European Defence Agency has developed close and important working relationships with a wide variety of EU institutions, agencies and bodies as well as other European organisations. A selection of thoughts and reflections from some of them.

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Quo Vadis, EDA? – An outlook by Dick Zandee

This summer, the European Defence Agency celebrates its 15th anniversary. What lies ahead in the next 15 years? An analysis and outlook by Dick Zandee, Head of the Security Unit of the research department of the Clingendael Institute in The Hague.

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