EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq and Athena Administrator Hans-Werner Grenzhäuser signed an arrangement establishing the framework for future cooperation between EDA and Athena.
This arrangement builds upon a successful pilot case conducted in 2014 in which the European Defence Agency (EDA) supported the acquisition of Air to Ground Surveillance and Reconnaissance Services for Operation EUFOR Althea.
Procurement of contracted solutions has become increasingly relevant for EU military operations not only to fill capability gaps in the force generation process, but also as a general planned support for ongoing operations.
This broader arrangement opens the option for the Athena Administrator or any Operation/Mission Commanders as Contracting Authorities to call upon EDA to provide, upon its expertise and available means and capabilities, technical and overall administrative support for procurement of infrastructure works, as well as a variety of services or supplies, through direct contracts or pre-mission solutions, e.g. through framework contracts.
Speaking about the cooperation, Hans-Werner Grenzhäuser said: “I am convinced that our cooperation would be of huge benefit for supporting EU-led military operations. The European Defence Agency can play a significant role. It holds a considerable knowledge of the industry, as well as in-house technical expertise and experience in contracting. The cooperation with EDA will therefore increase flexibility, optimise procurement procedures and save scarce resources by providing contractor support solutions to operations and Athena central.”
Talking about the arrangement, Jorge Domecq added: “The ultimate goal of any EDA project is to support operations. Today’s arrangement allows us to do this by providing a procurement service directly to the Administrator or an EU mission. I am sure this will prove particularly useful to develop upstream more ready-to-use solutions available from the shelf at the start of an operation in fields such as medical services, real-life support, satellite communication or strategic transport.”
The Athena Mechanism
Athena is the mechanism established to administer the financing of the common costs of European Union operations having military or defence implications governed by Council Decision 2011/871/CFSP. The Council Decision allows for arrangements to be signed with Union bodies to facilitate procurement in operations in the most cost-effective manner.
More information about the Athena Mechanism is available here.