DefMin Les: EDF-important initiative which aims to tackle Europe’s security, defence needs

The European Defence Fund (EDF) is one of the most important initiatives of the European defence package which aims to tackle the current and future security needs of Europe, National Defence Minister Gabriel Les stated on Tuesday.

“It is an honor for Romania to host this important event dedicated to research and innovation based on capabilities, under the Romanian Presidency at the EU Council, an event in which the European Defence Agency (EDA) played a very important role. Since the launching of the European Union Global Strategy (EUGS) in 2016, the EU implemented a thorough process to achieve its objectives in the defence and security area, built around three agreed strategic priorities: the reaction to external conflicts and crisis, capabilities and the protection of the EU and its citizens, all these to strengthen together the Union’s ability to act as a security supplier and its strategic autonomy, as well as increasing its ability to cooperate with its partners and protect the citizens. In this context, research and innovation in the defence area are seen as the basis for the necessary level of know-how in the development processes of capabilities, thus, playing a key-role in the contribution to the EU strategic autonomy,” Gabriel Les stated on the occasion of the Conference regarding research and innovation in the defence capabilities area, an event organised by the National Defence Ministry (MApN) in collaboration with the European Defence Agency (EDA).

The Minister underscored, in this context, the ability of the EDF for competitiveness, efficiency and innovation of the European Defence Technology and Industrial Base Strategy, which contributes to the strategic autonomy and the Union’s freedom of action by supporting the cross-border collaboration and cooperation actions between judicial entities around the entire European Union.

“I am fully confident that, at the end, these processes will ensure the continuity and absorption of technological research by the defence industry and sector, especially in respect to the development technologies and actions which wouldn’t have been carried out individually by the member states. In my opinion, the EDF, together with CARD [the Coordinated Annual Defense Review] and PESCO [the Permanent Structured Cooperation] seeks the best solutions for harmonising the integrated military panning processes, providing the necessary support to member states in order to improve the synchronization of their national endowment programmes and in view of reducing the fragmentation of the defence sector by strengthening the European Defense Technological and Industrial Base,” Minister Les said, according to Agerpres.

The Minister also pointed out the importance of the European Defence Fund.

“In my view, the European Defence Fund is one of the most important initiatives of the European Defence Package (which also includes the Coordinated Annual Defense Review – CARD and the Permanent Structured Cooperation – PESCO), which aims to tackle the current and future security and defence needs of Europe, as an element of the EU Global Strategy and its implementation plan on security and defence (IPSD),” the Minister mentioned.

In his turn, Chief Executive of European Defence Agency Jorge Domecq underscored the importance of research in the defence area. He mentioned that in over 15 years of activity, the EDA developed 180 projects worth over 1 billion euro.

Furthermore, EDA official stated that Romania is an active member of the European Defence Agency and mentioned that the total worth of the programmes and projects in which Romania participated at the EDA exceeds 60 million euro so far.

In the same context, he also mentioned that the EDA published on Tuesday calls for the third and last proposals request for the future preparatory action of the EU regarding research in the defence area, worth 25 million euro.

“For those interested, the EDA will organise a day of information and a brokerage event in Brussels on 11 April. I encourage all research industries and institutes of Europe to participate actively,” he mentioned.

The conference carried out at the expert level is attended by 500 participants, representatives of the defence ministries, research centres, as well as of the defence industry of the EU member states.

The agenda of the conference has included three discussion panels on topical issues regarding the prioritisation of instruments for research in the defence area; the European Defence Fund and its impact over the research in the defence area, namely the collaborative R&T projects in the area of defense research.

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