The European Defence Agency was established under a Joint Action of the Council of Ministers on 12 July, 2004, "to support the Member States and the Council in their effort to improve European defence capabilities in the field of crisis management and to sustain the European Security and Defence Policy as it stands now and develops in the future”.
To implement the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty, this Joint Action was first replaced by a Council Decision on 12 July 2011 which was revised by Council decision (CFSP) 2015/1835 of 12 October 2015 on the statute, seat and operational rules of the EDA.
The European Defence Agency, within the overall mission set out in the before-mentioned Council decision, has three main missions:
- supporting the development of European defence capabilities and military cooperation;
- stimulating defence Research and Technology (R&T) and strengthening the European defence industry;
- acting as a military interface to EU policies.
EDA acts as a catalyst, promotes collaborations, launches new initiatives and introduces solutions to improve defence capabilities. It is the place where Member States willing to develop capabilities in cooperation do so. It is also a key facilitator in developing the capabilities necessary to underpin the Common Security and Defence Policy of the Union.