The European Defense Agency : towards the future or from Venus to Mars?

The idea of a European Defense Agency (EDA) mainly developed outside of the European Communities, in specific defense or armament structures. It was created in the frame of the European Union, in July 2005. It works in the fields of development of defense capabilities, promotion and enhancement of European armament cooperation, enhancement of the effectiveness of European defense R&T, strengthening of the European defense technological and industrial base and creation of an internationally competitive European defense equipment market. In order to be efficient, the Agency will have to take up three challenges : a political challenge, a transatlantic one and an industrial one. Concerning the political challenge, the Agency needs autonomy in decision making, financial autonomy and recognition of its international role. In the frame of the transatlantic challenge, it has to work towards determining the EU’s place in its relationship with NATO and the USA by federating the European nations, and contributing to fill the gap on financial means between the EU and USA in the defense area. The Agency also has to take up the industrial challenge, in preserving a competitive European defense industry and establishing a genuine European defense equipment market, economically more efficient. – Summary AFRI-2005