Amy Svitak writes:
Defense ministers from the European Defense Agency's 26 member states adopted a code of conduct Dec. 19, the Brussels-based agency announced Dec. 13.
By signing the code the ministers agreed to systematically consider cooperation in their national defense planning.
The code comprises a series of actions to support cooperative planning for defense capabilities among EU member states. The actions aim to mainstream pooling and sharing among signatories, though such efforts are to be implemented on a voluntary basis in line with individual national defense policies.
Chiefly, the code obligates member states to consider cooperation from the outset in national defense planning "for the whole life-cycle of a capability," including research and technology cooperation, EDA said in a Dec. 13 news release.
The code also endeavors to shield pooling and sharing projects from potential cuts and optimize synergies with wider European policies, including regulatory regimes, standards and certification.
EDA, which operates with an annual budget of 30.5 billion euros and funds 32 ongoing projects with 312 million euros in ad hoc funding from member states, seeks to avoid gaps or duplication among the combined assets of EU member states. The agency says it will submit to defense ministers an annual state of play of pooling and sharing initiatives, new opportunities and an analysis of the capability situation in Europe.