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EDA Chief Executive visits Lithuania

Mr Marijus Velička, Vice-Minister of Defence and Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA) met in Vilnius today to discuss Lithuania’s participation in Agency projects as well as the role of EDA in fostering European defence cooperation.

The meeting in Lithuania was the second of Jorge Domecq’s visits to every EDA Member State in order to exchange views with defence ministers and explore ways in which EDA could further support national efforts.

After the meeting, Mr. Marijus Velička stated: "Evolving security challenges demand for more responsibility from the European nations, and no doubt - the European Defence Agency is one of the most visible players in the European defence arena. Lithuania is directly interested in Europe with credible military capabilities and self-sufficient crisis management tools, therefore we fully share the thoughts of newly appointed EDA's Chief Executive to foster the improvement of European defence capabiities. My country is planning to double its defence spending by 2020 and we see much added value in common initiatives between Lithuania and EDA. The Agency's priorities presented by Mr Domecq are fully supported in Vilnius. Moreover, Lithuania is planning to join most of them in the near future."

Great expectations

Jorge Domecq, EDA Chief Executive, also shared his impressions on the meeting: “I am very pleased that one of my first visits as EDA Chief Executive has been to Lithuania. We have had a substantive exchange of views on the current state of European defence cooperation and expectations for the next European Council discussion on defence matters. Tomorrow’s informal meeting of defence ministers in Riga, and the EDA ministerial Steering Board in May will be important in terms of preparing the contribution of defence ministers to the European Council. I took the opportunity to reaffirm that the Agency offers a flexible approach to defence cooperation This allows all Member States, irrespective of their size, to take full advantage of the Agency  and of the added-value we can provide. A recent successful example is the joint procurement initiative of anti-tank ammunition that the Agency administered on behalf of the Baltic countries, the Czech Republic and Poland. We are ready to support more value for money cases like this."