European Defence Agency
Decision to establish European Defence Agency (EDA) was adopted on 12 July 2004. Mission of the EDA is to facilitate military cooperation between European Union (EU) member states on issues of capability development, sharing of resources and less fragmentation among manufacturers of military equipment. EDA was fully established on 1 January 2005.
EDA is the only EU institution responsible for development of military capabilities within the EU. It covers all phases of capability development projects such as defining of long-term defence capability needs, development and introduction of new technologies according to standards, enabling of collaborative defence capability projects.
EDA main tasks:
- facilitate development of member state defence capabilities
- coordinate joint arms procurements across Europe
- strengthen European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) and support development of competitive defence market in Europe
- raise efficiency of European defence Research & Technology (R&T) framework
There are 27 member states in the EDA. Denmark became the 27th EDA member state on 23 March 2023. Denmark had previously opted out of EU’s common defence policy and EDA. EDA also has agreements with numerous third countries, including Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine and the US.
Joint Declaration on EU-NATO Cooperation signed in 2023 also applies to EDA’s relationship with NATO.
Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers approved Latvia’s membership in EDA on 21 June 2004. As a fully-contributing member of EDA, Ministry of Defence appoints its representatives to the steering board and national defence capability, research and technology, armaments and market points of contact. Ministry of Defence also has its representative in EDA who coordinates communication between Ministry and EDA from Brussels.
According to EU Global Strategy, strong and competitive EU Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) is key for development of defence capabilities and strategic autonomy of Europe. Therefore, EDA supports structured dialogue and cooperation with member state defence industry players in core defence areas, especially capability development and R&T.
EDA supports member state industry players by sharing data and information about business opportunities and EU support tools, including funding programmes. Main target group is small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which form 99% of all companies in Europe.
For more information on industry engagement, please go to EDA web-page:
Research and technologies
Research and technology (R&T) is one of the top priorities for EDA. It is key for development of defence capabilities. Member states often lack necessary research and innovation funding, that is why EDA offers various facilities that allow EU member states create synergies that lead to various defence R&T projects and applications.
To ensure the identification of technology gaps and areas of cooperation, the Overarching Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA), the EDA R&T planning tool, developed together with its Member States, provides a shared vision of the most important technical challenges to be researched at European level.
For more information about collaborative R&T activities, please go to EDA web-page:
EDA Capability Technology Areas (CapTechs)
Specific EDA Capability Technology groups (CapTechs), voluntary networks comprised of member state experts and representatives of industry and research organisations, are formed to support collaborative defence research and capability projects in common areas of interest for cooperation. CapTechs have facilitated more than 250 research and technology projects since 2004 when EDA was founded, overseeing the total investment of 1 billion euros. NGO experts are delegated to CapTechs by Ministry of Defence.
For more information about CapTech, please go to EDA web-page:
EDA manages EU defence industry and defence research funding through European Defence Fund (EDF) and other EU funding programmes.
For more information about funding opportunities, please visit EDA web-page:
Information about European Defence Fund on MoD web-page:
Industry and research organisations can subscribe to EDA newsletter here: