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Belgium and EDA discuss future defence cooperation

Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency, met today with Steven Vandeput, Belgian Minister of Defence, in Brussels to discuss preparations of the European Council on defence issues in June 2015 as well as future defence cooperation opportunities. 

Following his meeting with Mr. Domecq, Minister Vandeput said: “I fully appreciate the role of the EDA as a facilitator between the political and military actors in defence cooperation. The increased demand for operational output motivates us towards more and closer cooperation between Member States in order to create leverage and enhance efficiency. In any case, Belgium is and will remain a strong supporter of defence cooperation. For example, I would like to refer to the “Ghent Initiative” in 2010, which gave a strong political impulse to the “Pooling & Sharing” ideas and projects within the EU.

“Belgium is of double importance for the European Defence Agency. As a member it has a long tradition in defence cooperation at regional and European levels. In the framework of the European Defence Agency, Belgium is particularly active in projects covering cyber defence and countering improvised explosive devices. As our host nation, Belgium grants VAT exemption to EDA’s projects on an ad-hoc basis. This VAT exemption gives a real bonus to defence cooperation among Member States”, Jorge Domecq underlined after the meeting in Brussels.

Before the discussion with Minister Vandeput, Jorge Domecq also met with the Belgian Chief of Defence, General Gérard Van Caelenberge. The main topics addressed during both meetings were the preparation of the Heads of State and Government discussion on defence in June 2015 as well as cooperation opportunities on European level in view of future national policy choices. 

The meetings in Brussels are part of a tour to all EDA Member States by Jorge Domecq following his appointment as EDA Chief Executive and ahead of the European Council in June

Picture © BE Defense / Malek AZOUG

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