Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency and José Pedro Aguiar-Branco, Minister of Defence of Portugal met today to discuss preparations of the European Council on defence issues in June 2015 as well as the implementation of the EU Maritime Security Strategy Action Plan.
The Portuguese Minister of Defence stressed the importance of the European Defence Agency, especially in the context of EU’s financial constraints. José Pedro Aguiar-Branco underlined the importance of R&T programmes as a way of developing defence and dual-use technologies. He also mentioned the importance of supporting the role of small and medium enterprises, since they are the backbone of the European Technological and Industrial Base. Finally, he underlined the need to work towards the full implementation of the December 2013 European Council conclusions in accordance with the agreed roadmap.
“The European Defence Agency witnessed Portugal’s hospitality and commitment to European defence corporation during the last three editions of Hot Blade which is part of our successful Helicopter Exercise Programme. To date, 174 helicopters, 329 crews and over 12.000 personnel have participated in seven live exercises organised as part of this programme. Portugal will also host the European Air Transport Training in June this year. By training together, our armed forces can be best prepared for their deployment in multinational operations”, Jorge Domecq said at the meeting in Lisbon.
During the visit, Jorge Domecq also met with the National Armaments Director, the Chief of Defence and other senior officials of the Portuguese Ministry of Defence. Additionally, he held discussions at the European Maritime Security Agency (EMSA) and the Portuguese defence industry organisation.
The main topics addressed during the meetings were the preparation of the Heads of State and Government discussion on defence in June 2015, the implementation of the EU Maritime Security Strategy Action Plan as well as support to defence industry with particular emphasis on small and medium sized enterprises.
Jorge Domecq’s meetings in Lisbon are part of a tour to all EDA Member States following his appointment as EDA Chief Executive and ahead of the European Council in June.