Several key priorities are currently standing out of the European Defence Agency’s comprehensive and wide-ranging work agenda (see also ‘Our activities’):
- Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR). Launched by the Commission in June 2017 for a 3-year period, the PADR is set to demonstrate the added-value of EU supported defence research and prepare a future European Defence Research Programme (EDRP) as part of the EU’s next Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027. It is run by the EDA through a Delegation Agreement signed in May by which the Commission entrusts the Agency with the management and implementation of the research projects.
- Capability Development Plan (CDP) update. The CDP is a comprehensive planning method providing a picture of European military capabilities over time. It can be used by Member States’ defence planners when identifying priorities and opportunities for cooperation. The EDA is coordinating this work with Member States and other stakeholders such as the EU Military Committee. The CDP is currently under revision and Member States have tasked the Agency to present a new set of EU priorities for military capability development by spring 2018.
- Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD). Designed to foster capability development, deepen defence cooperation and improve the coherence of defence spending among EU nations, the voluntary annual defence review was endorsed by Member States in May 2017. It will start with a ‘trial run’ involving all Member States as of autumn 2017. This should allow Member States to test, adapt and validate the approach as necessary ahead of the first full CARD implementation scheduled for autumn 2019. For the CARD to provide real added value, it is important to ensure the most up-to-date and detailed information possible on national defence plans and spending as well as on the implementation of European capability priorities resulting from the Capability Development Plan. The crucial role of gathering all this important information is being played by the EDA who acts as the ‘CARD secretariat’.
- Key Capability Programmes. Among the many capability projects run by the EDA, a particular focus is being placed on the four key defence capability programmes identified by EU Heads of State and Government back in 2013: - Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR); - Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS); - Governmental Satellite Communications (GovSatcom); - Cyber Defence.
- Implementation of Agency’s Long Term Review. The review was carried out between November 2016 and April 2017 and its findings were endorsed by Ministers in May 2017. The main conclusion was that the Agency has to become the central operator for EU funded defence activities and the main coordinator for intergovernmental defence capability planning, prioritization and development. EDA’s role of Member States’ interface and gateway towards EU institutions and stakeholders is also being reinforced.
The above-mentioned current priorities represent only a small part of EDA’s activities. For a full and detailed overview of the Agency’s projects and programmes, please go to Our activities and pick the domain, topic or project you are interested in!