The European Defence
Agency (EDA) was established in July 2004 following a unanimous
decision by European Heads of State and Government. It was
established under the Council Joint Action 2004/5 51/CFSP on the
basis of Article 14 of the treaty on the European Union
The purpose of the European Defence Agency is to support the Member
States and the Council of Europe in order to improve European
defence capabilities in the field of crisis management, and to
sustain and develop the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).
The EDA has the following tasks:
To improve the EU's
defence capabilities in the field of crisis management.
To promote European
To strengthen the
European defence industrial and technological base and create a
competitive European defence equipment market, in consultation with
To promote research,
in liaison with Community research activities, with a view to
strengthening Europe's industrial and technological potential in the
In the longer term
the EDA will achieve its goals by:
Governments to spend defence budgets on meeting tomorrow's
challenges and not, in their words, yesterday's threats.
Governments to identify common needs and promoting collaboration
to provide common solutions.
The EDA is an
agency of the European Union and therefore under the direction
and authority of the European Council, which issues guidelines
to, and receives reports from the High Representative as Head of
the Agency. Detailed control and guidance, however, is the
responsibility of the Steering Committee.
Committee, the principal decision-making body of the Agency is made
up of Defence Ministers from participating Member States (all EU
members except Denmark) and a member of the European Commission. In
addition to ministerial meetings at least twice a year, the Steering
Committee also meets at the level of national armaments directors,
national research directors, national capability planners and policy
The EDA's chief executive (mid 2010) is Alexander Weis a former head
of the German National Armaments Directorate who was appointed in
May 2007. The EDA Headquarters is in Brussels (Belgium) and there is
approximately 100 staff.
The Agency had a budget of €31 million (US$£38 million) in 2010.
EUROPEAN UNION INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES (EU-ISS)
The EU-ISS is based in Paris and was established in 2002 and is an
independent think tank that researches issues relevant to EU defence
and security. Much of the work is published and the EU-ISS organises
conferences and seminars on all aspects of EU related defence and