The conclusion of this AA is a strong political signal, delivering on the tasking of EU and U.S. leaders in the June 2021 EU-US Summit Statement. The arrangement confirms the value of a transatlantic partnership in security and defense to confront shared security challenges, and the importance of a stronger and more capable European defense that is complementary to and interoperable with NATO.
Head of the Agency, High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell, said: “At a time when war has returned to Europe, we need to open every avenue for cooperation with our closest partners. The EDA-U.S. Administrative Arrangement provides another pillar to strengthen transatlantic cooperation and the link between the EU and the U.S. The European Defence Agency, as the hub for EU defence cooperation, plays a unique role in raising our level of defence cooperation and contributing to make the EU a stronger defence actor and partner.”
U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin said: “The signature of the Administrative Arrangement with EDA is evidence of the strengthening U.S.-European Union relationship. DoD and EDA’s dedicated dialogue and engagement will further contribute to transatlantic and global security. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine underlines the importance of strong U.S.-European ties in NATO and with the European Union. Deepening dialogue and cooperation will only strengthen this key strategic partnership moving forward.”
The two parties have reached an understanding on an initial scope of cooperation, which may, upon mutual consent, progressively develop in the future.
- Forum of exchange and dialogue: The AA will enable a substantial defense dialogue on all topics within EDA’s remit, and invitations for U.S. DoD to attend relevant meetings of EDA’s Steering Board and for EDA to attend meetings convened by the U.S. DoD, as appropriate.
- Activities of cooperation: Initial activities include consultations on the impact of EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation; military mobility; supply chain issues; and the impact of climate change on defense. It also allows for U.S. participation in the open session of the European Defence Standardisation Committee.
The AA was signed today in Brussels by Jiři Šedivý, EDA Chief Executive, and Dr. William LaPlante, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.