Peter Round, Capabilities Director of the European Defence Agency, highlighted during his presentation at the Agency’s annual conference some Pooling & Sharing priorities. Already in his introduction he made clear that Pooling & Sharing was not just a buzz word and that pragmatism was the answer to budget restrictions in Member States. Mr Round emphasised that the objective of Pooling & Sharing was to address shortfalls while getting more out of current capabilities and at the same time freeing resources for other activities.
While Pooling & Sharing might look easy on paper, it clearly is not. However, the Agency’s work since the endorsement of eleven initial Pooling & Sharing priorities by Defence Ministers in November 2011, has produced concrete results.
Mr Round mentioned in his presentation the Agency’s Counter-IED Laboratory as an excellent example of EU/NATO co-operation and of EDA’s support to operations. Other projects with possible benefits to operations are the Agency’s European Satellite Communication Procurement Cell, its helicopter training programme, the Maritime Surveillance network, the field hospitals initiative and its comprehensive work regarding air-to-air refuelling. Regarding the latter, Mr Round emphasised that the Agency was addressing shortfalls as well as fragmentation.
Next to these projects, the Agency is also working on improving efficiency. Some examples are its initiatives on diplomatic clearances for transport aircraft or on innovative tools like the Third Party Logistic Support or the Effective Procurement Methods. Finally, Mr Round emphasised the importance of the recently signed Code of Conduct on Pooling & Sharing as an important signal of increased will to cooperate.