Annual conference 2015

Latest updates

Video: Annual Conference Highlights

Brussels - 26 Nov 2015

The EDA Annual Conference “European Defence Matters” attracted high interest of leaders in the European defence from politics, military, industry and academia. The highlights included addresses by HR/VP and Head of the EDA Federica Mogherini, NATO SecGen Jens Stoltenberg and the Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska. Two roundtable talks were devoted to the future of European defence capabilities and defence research. A video from the conference is available at the EDA YouTube channel.

Video: Keynote speech by Elżbieta Bieńkowska at the EDA Annual Conference

Brussels - 17 Nov 2015

Full speech by Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, availabe on the EDA Youtube channel.

Photos available

Brussels - 16 Nov 2015

Don't miss out on the latest photos of the EDA Annual Conference available on the EDA flickr account.

The first part of the EDA Annual Conference

Brussels - 16 Nov 2015

Discussions on the European defence cooperation and capabilities were led by Prominent decision-makers and frontline leaders in European defence from the world of military, politics and industry. The panel discussion raised the question of the future of European defence capabilities. Moreover, defence cooperation was analysed from a political, military and industrial viewpoint. Read more

Updated programme available

Brussels - 12 Nov 2015

The updated programme of the EDA Annual Conference "European Defence Matters" is available here (valid as of 12 Nov 2015).

EDA Annual Conference: Interactivity is key

Brussels - 8 Oct 2015

On 16 November 2015, the EDA Annual Conference “European Defence Matters” will gather around 400 high-level speakers and participants. Frontline actors of defence cooperation as well as leaders from the military, politics and industry will engage in highly interactive panel debates and keynote speeches with plenty of opportunities for the audience to contribute to the discussion.

Video: Special address by NATO SG Jens Stoltenberg at the EDA Annual Conference

Brussels - 17 Nov 2015

Full speech by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is availabe here.

Video: Special address by HR/VP Federica Mogherini at the EDA Annual Conference

Brussels - 17 Nov 2015

Full speech by Federica Mogherini, High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission and Head of the European Defence Agency, availabe here.

Welcome words by Jorge Domecq

Brussels - 17 Nov 2015

Full speech by Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency, available here.

EDA Annual Conference: the second part

Brussels - 16 Nov 2015

The second part of the European Defence Agency (EDA) Annual Conference held on 16 November 2015 was built around a question on research opportunities at the EU level. Discussions of the second roundtable especially refered to the reduced  funding of European defence research as well as the Preparatory Action, which is expected to finance defence research for the first time in history. Read more

Registration as of 1PM

Brussels - 12 Nov 2015

Due to the high number of registered attendees (up to 500), registration to the EDA’s Annual Conference “European Defence Matters” on 16 November will start at 13.00. We encourage participants to arrive early as we expect delays at the registration counters. The conference will start at 14.00 (sharp) but early arrivers can enjoy a welcome coffee in the meantime. Military staff is furthermore invited to attend the conference in dress uniform.

EDA Annual Conference unites political, military and industrial perspectives

Brussels - 13 Oct 2015

As in previous editions, this year’s EDA Annual Conference puts special emphasis on hearing from political, military and industrial decision-makers about the future of European defence cooperation. In times of shrinking defence budgets, defence cooperation seems the only way forward but are things actually moving? High-level speakers in two roundtables on defence capabilities and new avenues for research at EU level will share with the audience their ideas for a more cooperative way forward.

European Defence Matters by invitation only

European defence faces challenges today and even more tomorrow, challenges that will require capabilities that address diverse threats and maintain Europe’s technological edge within constrained budgets. One approach to these challenges is by giving a priority to defence and increased collaboration between Europeans. The European Defence Agency was created ten years ago to support and enhance this cooperation. EDA is proving an important catalyst to Pooling & Sharing defence and security capabilities.

In this context, European Defence Matters – the annual conference organised by the European Defence Agency – will offer perspectives for action and stimulate frank discussions. We will be learning from the frontline actors of defence cooperation as well as leaders from the military, politics and industry, transforming their insights into practical steps forward through highly interactive panel debates and keynote speeches with plenty of opportunities for the audience to contribute to the discussion. 

European Defence Matters is the yearly rendez-vous for decision makers to discuss European defence cooperation. Participation in the Annual Conference is upon invitation only. 




  • Roundtable 1: European defence capabilities: what’s next?

In light of a changed security environment, Heads of State and Government reiterated the need to further develop civil and military capabilities during their December 2013 and June 2015 discussions on European defence. Leaders agreed that greater and more systematic European defence cooperation should be fostered to deliver key capabilities.

The EDA will continue its work on the four key capability programmes but what additional role can the Agency play? Cooperation is the best way forward but in defence it is not a natural thing to do. In which direction will defence cooperation go? What other options are there? Are we tapping all available funds?

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Dutch Minister of Defence, General Mikhail Kostarakos, (designate) Chairman of the EU Military Committee, Giovanni Soccodato, Executive Vice President Strategy, Markets and Business Development, Finmeccanica and Daniel Koštoval, Czech Deputy Minister for Armaments and Acquisition discuss in this first roundtable possible new avenues to defence cooperation from a political, military and industrial viewpoint. 

  • Roundtable 2: New research opportunities at EU level: a game changer for the industry?

The defence industry is an engine for innovation, growth and jobs. It is also the foundation of Europe’s strategic autonomy. But the decline in defence budgets has also led to a reduction in funding for research and technology which in turn influences the industry’s innovation power.

European industry is still a world-leader in many cutting-edge technologies. The question is: for how much longer? What can Europe do to maintain a technological edge? What role for the Preparatory Action for CSDP-related research? Are there other possibilities for increased cooperation on the European level? And what are the consequences of doing nothing?

Michel Barnier, Special adviser to the European Commission President on defence matters, Antoine Bouvier, President & CEO of MBDA Millie Systems, Ana Gomes, Member of the European Parliament and Tassos Rozolis, CEO of AKMON and Chairman of the Hellenic Manufacturers of Defence and Security Material Association discuss the need of and ways to provide the European defence industry with fresh oxygen. 




Participating Member States

  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech
  • Germany
  • Estonia
  • Ireland
  • Greece
  • Spain
  • France
  • Croatia
  • Italy
  • Cyprus
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Hungary
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • UK