Jorge Domecq, EDA Chief Executive, today travelled to Cyprus for discussions with the Cypriot Minister of Defence, Christoforos Fokaides on the preparation of the European Council in June 2015 and Cyprus’ participation in EDA projects. During the visit Cyprus confirmed its participation in the Agency’s EU Satcom Market pooled procurement initiative for commercial satellite communications. Mr. Domecq also held discussions with the Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides.
“I would like to underline my satisfaction for the productive meeting we had today with the Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency. I had the opportunity to reiterate our firm will to further enhance our contribution and support to the common initiatives and efforts of the Agency. The signing today of the Satcom Market Joint Procurement Arrangement is just an indication of this. In addition, we have also agreed today to co-organise an important Maritime Security Conference here in Cyprus next November which reflects the emphasis that we want to attribute in this field but also the role that Cyprus can play”, stressed Minister Fokaides.
“Satellite communications are a scarce and investment-intensive capability. The Agency’s approach to pool Member State’s demand of commercially available satellite communications aims to reduce costs, ease access, and improve operational efficiency. There are only advantages for Member States, since they only pay what they use at the best price and when needed. This is why I welcome Cyprus’ decision”, stressed Jorge Domecq during his visit in Cyprus.
EU Satcom Market
Commercial satellite communications are used by all nations to provide extra capacity on top of their own military and governmental satellite communications. The EU Satcom Market provides a flexible and cost-effective way of doing this, with the European Defence Agency acting as the central purchasing body for all participating countries. So far, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Poland, Romania, and the United Kingdom take part in the project. Since the launch of the project, 20 orders have been processed through this procurement cell, for a total value of about 2.5 million euros. Member States are already forwarding their requirements for 2015 and it is expected that their interest and usage will increase significantly.
Visit to Member States
The visit in Cyprus also allowed for meetings with other high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Defence, as well as briefings about the armed forces of Cyprus and research initiatives. It is part of a series of visits by Mr. Domecq to all EDA Member States following his appointment as EDA Chief Executive and ahead of the Ministerial Steering Board on 18 May 2015. So far, Mr. Domecq visited Spain, Lithuania, Latvia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, Ireland, France, Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Estonia, Poland, Slovenia and Greece.