The Agency works with a balance of top-down guidance and bottom-up expert work – both are needed to move forward. Therefore, the personal involvement of Ministers of Defence is essential. They sit in EDA’s Steering Board.
Underneath the decision-making level, the Agency operates with different working level networks for specific topics. This is the level of the experts. They participate according to the principle of géométrie variable, depending on their national interests.
EDA operates directly with experts in capitals, through meetings but also through electronic communication tools. These expert networks are crucial. EDA itself can initiate, stimulate or catalyse activities - but at the end of the day the Member States have to contribute and invest, as Defence remains a national prerogative.
Examples of these working level networks are the Integrated Development Teams (IDTs), Project Teams (PTs) and the CapTechs in the research & technology domain. Dedicated experts meetings also exist in the Armaments areas of responsibility (e.g. for standardisation, the Defence Test & Evaluation Base, Unmanned Aerial Systems) and in the Industry and Market areas of responsibility (such as for Offsets, Future Air Systems’ industrial capabilities, etc.).