The steering board of the European Defence Agency (EDA) meets for the first time this morning under the chairmanship of the High Representative of the EU, Dr Javier Solana. The meeting takes place prior to the informal meeting of Ministers of Defence of the European Union in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
The Agency was established on 12 July 2004 and is tasked with overseeing the strengthening of European military capabilities. The Agency will evaluate such matters as the pledged military contributions of the EU member states. Furthermore, the Agency is to promote further multinational cooperation and prevent the fragmentation of the European defence efforts. Finally, the Agency will have tasks in the areas of materiel cooperation, technological research and the European defence market.
The Dutch minister of Defence, Henk Kamp, who holds the chair of the EU, stated that he is “proud to have this kick off under our Presidency. The Agency is not only an important tool for deepening our cooperation but also for strengthening our capabilities. […] First and foremost the agency should focus on capabilities development”.