Euroepan Defence Agency (EDA ) and Turkısh Defence Industry

“Defence-Turkey would like to thank Mr. Muzaffer AKYILDIRIM, Defence and Armaments Adviser to the Turkish Delegation to the EU in Bruxelles, for providing information on EDA and sharing his views on Turkish defence industry.’’

Issue 8 - January 2008

It has been two years since the establishment
of the European Defence Agency (EDA). The new Chief Executive, Mr. Alexander Weis from
Germany has been appointed to the agency as of 1 October 2007. In this article, a review of aim, structure, scope and activities of EDA are summarised and challenges to a constructive
relationship between Turkey and EDA are analysed in order to inform the readers of Defence-Turkey.
The EDA; Introduction and Terms of Reference:
The strategic security environment forced the European Union (EU) make the transformation of European Defence and Security. Amongst other
arrangements, Headline Goal 2003 became Headline Goal 2010 and the quest for capabilities accelerated. The EU acquired a European Security
Strategy (ESS), endeavoured to get a Constitution adopted, and finally established the European Defence Agency, the missing link in the process of acquiring a European capability.
Except in the matter of collective defence, the EU is now a defence alliance for the protection of its “regional” interests and also an “offensive” organisation for the defence of its interests in the world. The European Defence Agency (EDA) celebrated its first two years of activities in January 2007 . During this time,
the Agency has succeeded in becoming the indispensable reference point for European cooperation in the field of defence capabilities, equipment and technologies and the defence industry and market. The primary mission of the EDA is to: “.. aim at developing defence capabilities in the field of crisis management,
promoting and enhancing European armaments cooperation, strengthening the European defence technological and industrial base (DTIB) and creating a competitive European defence equipment market (EDEM), as well as promoting, in liaison with the Community’s research activities where appropriate, research aimed at leadership in strategic technologies for future
defence and security capabilities, thereby strengthening Europe’s industrial potential in this domain”. This wording also describes the functional structure of the Agency. It, also,
has a “virtual” regulatory function (virtual
in that it has no authority over the states and no influence on national industrial policies) in that “… policies and strategies should be brought forward, in consultation with the Commission and industry as appropriate, to develop the European DTIB in a balanced fashion, taking into account the strengths of the industrial capacities of the Member States”. This provision explicitly brings the Commission
into a field from which it was, and still is, excluded from a legal point of view, under the terms of Article 296 of the Treaty establishing the European