Documents considered by the Committee on 6 January 2016 - European Scrutiny Contents


19   European Defence Agency 2016 budget and annual report, and wider CFSP/CSDP issues

Committee's assessment Politically important
Committee's decisionCleared from scrutiny; relevant to the 1 February 2016 European Committee debate on Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP); drawn to the attention of the Defence Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee
Document details(a) 2016 Budget; (b) Head of Agency Report
Legal base
DepartmentMinistry of Defence
Document Numbers(a) (37347), —; (b) (37388), —

Summary and Committee's conclusions

19.1  The European Defence Agency (EDA) was established under Joint Action 2004/551/CFSP on 12 July 2004, "to support the Council and the Member States in their effort to improve European defence capabilities in the field of crisis management and to sustain the European Security and Defence Policy as it stands now and develops in the future". There are 27 participating Member States (pMS; Denmark does not participate).

The EDA 2016 Budget

19.2  The principal documents consist of the 2016 EDA budget and the 2015 annual report. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Reserves at the MOD (Mr Julian Brazier) reports that (as in previous years) the Government (uniquely among pMS) resisted the Agency's budget proposal — a 9.7% increase and a total of €33.5 million (£24.9 million) — which means that the EDA will therefore continue with "a frozen, 'flat cash' budget for 2016" of €30.5 million (£22.67 million).

The Head of Agency Report

19.3  The Minister says that the report accurately captures the key EDA activities and that those activities are consistent with the scope of the EDA's competence and remit, and highlights:

·  its four key programmes —— Air to Air Refuelling, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, Governmental Satellite Communications, and Cyber Defence — which "we continue to ensure are de-conflicted from existing NATO efforts";

·  Defence Cooperation Enablers, where the UK is involved in the development of European Military Airworthiness Requirements (EMARs), where participation in the EDA Military Airworthiness Authorities Forum "has helped us steer the progress of the EMARs for management, aircraft maintenance, training/licensing, and certification";

·  Research and Technology, where "we have been forward leaning in our involvement in the agreement of the governance for the Pilot Project to protect UK interests".

19.4  The Minister also notes the EDA's other on-going activities to strengthen Defence Industry across Europe (Strategic Autonomy and Key Strategic Activities, Access to EU funds, Cross-Border Supply Chains/Balanced Access to the EDTIB, Security of Supply and Support to defence-related SMEs) where, the Minister says:

"We engage with the EDA to ensure the merits and practicalities of each activity are discussed with Member States and that they complement national activity.  Our aim is to encourage a globally competitive European Defence Industry that delivers the interoperable capabilities our Armed Forces need at best value for money.  We have largely been successful in promoting a focus on areas that align with our national policy such as supporting SMEs. We will continue to work bilaterally with the EDA and with our Letter of Intent partners[128] to shape the Defence Industry agenda, influence action, and maximise the opportunities to the UK Defence Industry."

19.5  The Minister concludes by noting that, with regard to activity involving Interaction with Key Stakeholders "we continue to promote de-confliction between EDA and NATO work strands", in order to "help maximise the EDA's use of resources and enable the EDA to add value in areas of common interest such as Capability Planning and Hybrid Warfare".[129]

Wider Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) issues

19.6  As noted below, the ex officio Head of the EDA is also the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR; Federica Mogherini).

19.7  In her latter capacity, the HR is obliged, each year, to consult the European Parliament via a forward-looking document setting out: the main aspects and basic choices of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), including the financial implications for the EU's general budget; an evaluation of the measures launched in the year n-1; and an assessment of the coordination and complementarity of CFSP with the Union's other external financial instruments. We reported on the latest Draft Annual Report — Main aspects and basic choices of the CFSP (part II, point E, paragraph 25 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013) — at our meeting on 9 September 2015.[130]

19.8  Although this raised no issues in and of itself, the Committee noted the importance, this year, of the wider context. In the run-up to the May 2015 Foreign Affairs Council, the EU issued a major statement on 8 May 2015 headlined "EU sets out path for ambitious European cooperation in defence and security". The statement noted European Commission and the High Representative had "just given new impetus to making Europe a stronger actor in security and defence matters", and that this was "also in line with President Juncker's political guidelines". It highlighted two reports sent to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, which "summarise progress made in key areas related to Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as agreed with Heads of State and Government in 2013", and:

"highlight that the EU is indeed acting as a facilitator and enabler for defence cooperation to support Member States' capability development. The EU also adds value by maximising other EU policy tools in areas such as space, research, cyber security or the Single European Sky." (See "Background" and the Annex for full details.)

19.9  The (16 pages-long) Council Conclusions then went on to note that the global and European security environment had changed dramatically in recent years, called for "a stronger Europe, with a stronger and more effective Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)" and stated that, by addressing conflicts, sources of instability and other security challenges in the EU's immediate and wider neighbourhood, the EU and its Member States were "assuming increased responsibilities to act as a security provider, at the international level and in particular in the neighbourhood, thereby also enhancing their own security and their global strategic role by responding to these challenges together", with the EU and its Member States, CSDP and other policies and instruments, having "a strong role to play through the unique EU Comprehensive Approach to preventing and managing conflicts and addressing their causes". [131]

19.10  The Council Conclusions also highlighted the continued close and mutually reinforcing co-operation with NATO in areas of shared interest, both strategically and operationally, in crisis management as well as on military capability development where requirements overlap, and welcomed the High Representative's efforts to strengthen strategic and practical co-operation between the EU and NATO, with the overall objective of building a true organisation-to-organisation relationship.

19.11  At that time, the Minister for Europe (Mr David Lidington) and the Minister for Reserves (Mr Julian Brazier) stressed that these and the (much shorter) European Council Conclusions on CSDP[132] were "firmly within UK red lines". But — as with the December 2013 "Defence" European Council (the first such since 2007) — it had again been necessary for them to lobby for the attendance of the NATO secretary-general; something that we felt sat oddly with a genuine conviction by other Member States and the HR about "building a true organisation-to-organisation relationship". The Ministers also noted that the HR's main contribution to the May FAC — her report on CSDP — did not bring out clearly enough that Member States had primacy over defence issues; did not give enough weight to EU-NATO cooperation; put forward proposals on the role of the EDA that went beyond what Member States had previously agreed; and provided insufficient evaluation of the value-added by CSDP missions and operations.

19.12  Having been tasked with preparing a new European Security Strategy, for this June's "JEC16", the HR's "ground-breaking" initial strategy paper[133] said: while its modus operandi in partnership with international and regional organisations worked well, CSDP still faced difficulties in force generation and access to early and common financing, enablers, intelligence and logistics; EU Battle Groups had never been deployed, and the Lisbon Treaty's Article 44 never implemented;[134] and that: "While the EU is not a military alliance, it cannot ignore the 'D' in its CSDP".

Our assessment

19.13  Notwithstanding what the Council Conclusions might say, and the Ministers' assertions about "red lines", it seemed plain to the Committee that the European institutions, and at least some Member States, continued to favour a deepening of the EU's own defence capabilities.

19.14  All of this raised a number of important questions. First, as views on CFSP and CSDP were diverse, the development of a new EU strategy on foreign and security policy, and of the related policies listed by the Ministers, was politically important.

19.15  Secondly, if (quite rightly) there was to be close consultation/co-operation with Member States, the question arose as to how the House was to be involved in the scrutiny of these developments. Unfortunately, the previous Committee's experience, prior to and after the 2013 December "Defence" European Council — the first since 2007 — was not an encouraging precedent. The chapter and verse is set out in our predecessors' January 2015 Report on Joint Communication 17859/13, "The EU's comprehensive approach to external conflicts and crises.[135] The picture is of a process that continued to frustrate the Committee's long-standing endeavours to improve "upstream" scrutiny of CSDP, so that it is not presented with policy and legislative faits accomplis.

19.16  To take one example cited therein — a Commission Report: Defence Implementation Roadmap towards a more competitive and efficient defence and security sector: as long ago as October 2014, the then Defence Committee, at our predecessors' request, produced its Opinion thereon. They said that it outlined some areas for action that could deliver benefits to the European defence and security sector, but questioned what value the European Commission would add in a number of other areas outlined. Research and development into science and technologies applicable to defence in particular must, they said, remain free from unnecessary bureaucracy, especially where dual-use technologies were in development. Initiatives might arise from this roadmap that led to unnecessary legislation and duplication of effort with NATO; any Commission involvement in policy around country to country sales and third country exports could undermine European States' relations with the US and with other strategic partners worldwide. The then Defence Committee therefore strongly endorsed our predecessors' provisional view that this Report should be debated. The Committee accordingly recommended — on 5 November 2014 — a debate in European Committee. That debate was eventually held on 10 November 2015, i.e., some five months after the May and June Councils.

19.17  Regrettably, the Minister of Europe appeared not to have changed his approach. For no good reason, the HR's Draft CSDP Annual Report had been adopted prior to being submitted for scrutiny; being essentially a record of past activity, we saw no way in which this override was unavoidable, and regarded the Minister for Europe's explanation as pro forma. In addition, the Minister declined to deposit formally for scrutiny the HR's Strategic Review (or the other two documents dealt with in the joint letter) on the grounds that it did not have a formal cover, was for information only to the Council, and only provided a framework for decisions to be taken.

19.18  We found this argument unconvincing: even if provided "for information only" (it was in fact tabled as "a background paper, prepared by the EEAS with a view to supporting discussions amongst Ministers at the joint meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council/Defence Ministers on 18 May"), it was clearly meant for serious discussion. It was essentially a Commission/Joint Communication by another name (Commission/Joint Communications being very much frameworks for decisions to be taken). As our scrutiny operates on the basis of a deposited document, providing this Strategic Review by letter impeded proper prior scrutiny in the way in which the House had chosen to do it. We therefore made it clear that we expected him to deposit the HR's Review in spring 2016, before it was considered by the Council, with an Explanatory Memorandum and his views on it.

19.19  Third, the country was soon to determine its future relationship with the EU via a referendum. As our colleagues on the Foreign Affairs Committee (to whose attention we drew these developments) had already noted, leaving the EU could have significant implications for the UK's alliances and strategic partnerships, standing in other international organisations, "soft power" and national security. We also drew this Chapter to the attention of the Defence Committee.

19.20  In all these circumstances, we considered that this CSDP Report, and the related issues set out in the Ministers' letter and in our Conclusion, should be debated as soon as possible, and on the floor of the House.[136]

19.21  Our recommendation for a debate has finally been acted upon, insofar as it is to be held on 18 January. But, once again, the Government has dismissed our carefully-argued view, and insisted on its being held not on the floor of the House, but in European Committee.

19.22  Secondly, more detail is emerging (see "Background" and the Annex for details). That is why, at our 15 December 2015 meeting, we considered (and "tagged" to this debate) our Report on the draft CBSD (Capacity Building in support of Security and Development) Implementation Plan.[137]

19.23  Also, at the November Foreign Affairs Council "Defence", Commissioner Bienkowska updated Member States on Commission plans to develop a European Defence Action Plan. Earl Howe (who represented the UK) reported that the Commissioner argued that four objectives should underpin the Action Plan:

i)  supporting further European Defence co-operation;

ii)  guaranteeing Europe's strategic Defence autonomy;

iii)  ensuring the Action Plan is coherent with wider EU policies and strategies; and

iv)  ways of supporting EU Member States develop capacity in new and emerging security areas, such as space and security.

19.24  Earl Howe welcomed the Plan insofar as it coordinated existing instruments, but also felt compelled to urge "caution regarding new initiatives, emphasising the need to implement those already agreed".

19.25  Looking further down the road, we consider more than ever that not only the European Defence Action Plan but also the HR's European Security Strategy must be deposited prior to adoption. Major issues about the EU's involvement in defence, security and the "security-development" nexus are in play. Issues of competence and duplication with NATO are bound to arise. The picture is of a widening EU ambition, and Government ministers forever having to urge caution, press for better cooperation with NATO and generally seek to "rein in" EU policy makers. The House must be enabled to play its proper role in the prior scrutiny of such matters.

19.26  We therefore ask the Minister for Europe to confirm that both the European Defence Action Plan and the HR's European Security Strategy will be deposited for scrutiny, in good time, before they are adopted by the Council in Conclusions or otherwise.

19.27  In the meantime, we consider these documents and this chapter of our Report relevant to the 18 January CSDP debate.

19.28  With that in mind, we draw these developments to the attention of the Defence Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee.

Full details of the documents: (a) European Defence Agency: Draft Budget 2016: (37347), —; (b) Head of European Defence Agency's Report to the Council — November 2015: (37388), —.

Background

19.29  The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR; Federica Mogherini) is Head of the Agency and chairs its decision-making body, the Steering Board, which is composed of Defence Ministers of the participating Member States and the European Commission. The Steering Board acts under the Council's Authority and within the framework of guidelines issued by the Council, and meets twice yearly — in May and November. Unanimity is required for decisions on role, goals and targets; QMV for internal operations. In addition, the Steering Board meets regularly at sub-ministerial levels, such as National Armaments Directors or Capability Directors.[138]

19.30  Under the rubric "What we do", the EDA says:

"European defence matters. For the European Union to be a credible security provider and to protect its interests, it requires the full suite of tools: diplomatic, economic, development, and of course military.

"Recent operations have demonstrated critical gaps in European military capabilities. But while defence budgets are under pressure and investment is in decline, costs of major defence systems are rising. For European Member States cooperation in defence is the solution to acquire and maintain critical capabilities.

"Among other things, Heads of State and Government supported during the European Council meeting of December 2013 a more systematic and long-term approach to cooperation through increased transparency and information-sharing in defence planning."

19.31  On 18 May 2015, the EU issued the following statement:

"The European Commission and the High Representative have just given new impetus to making Europe a stronger actor in security and defence matters. This is also in line with President Juncker's political guidelines.

"Two reports sent to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, published today, summarise progress made in key areas related to Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as agreed with Heads of State and Government in 2013. The reports highlight that the EU is indeed acting as a facilitator and enabler for defence cooperation to support Member States' capability development. The EU also adds value by maximising other EU policy tools in areas such as space, research, cyber security or the Single European Sky.

"We need to build on progress made in recent years and respond to new challenges.

"Since 2013, Europe is confronted with rising security threats, a changing strategic context, and insufficient investment in security and defence capacities.

"That is why the Commission and the High Representative also propose a number of new ideas to feed into upcoming discussions on CSDP, in particular at the June European Council.

"The High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: '7000 men and women are currently deployed under the EU flag to advice, train and support military and security forces on three continents. We can be proud of their dedication to serve in some of the world's most difficult places, promoting the values of peace and human rights and working for stability and security in our region and in the world. Building on this strong basis, we have now to do more — pool our resources, work more efficiently together and broaden our cooperation with our partners. We are facing serious crises in our neighbourhood. We owe it to our citizens and to our neighbours to tackle them together. This requires a strong political will and I am confident the upcoming meetings of EU Ministers and leaders will clearly indicate it'.

"El¿bieta Bieñkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: 'A competitive and efficient European defence and technological industrial base requires a shift from the existing short-term focus on national industrial capacities and markets to a longer-term vision. This includes more investment in research and innovation in defence technologies, strengthening security of supply of defence products and services across the EU, and a functioning internal market for defence which caters for the specificities of the sector. Space is also a domain where we must pursue and strengthen EU cooperation, especially in the area of space surveillance, observation, high-resolution imagery and navigation'."

19.32  The background (including links to relevant documents) is laid out in the Annex to this chapter of our Report.[139]

November 2015 meetings

19.33  On 17 November 2015, pMS Ministers of Defence met in the EDA Steering Board. The EDA presented progress on the current four capability programmes — Air-to-Air Refuelling, cyber defence, governmental satellite communications, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems — and initial roadmaps for potential future cooperative programmes: Biological Joint Deployable Exploitation and Analysis Laboratory (Bio-JDEAL), medical evacuation and anti-tank weapons. Ministers of Defence "also discussed the three year planning framework detailing the Agency's work plan and priorities for 2016-2018 as well as the resources required to support this".[140]

19.34  On 3 December 2015, EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq briefed the European Parliament's security and defence subcommittee on the outcome of the Ministerial Steering Board, the current security situation, the future of the EDA and the Global Strategy. The EDA summarises this as follows:

"Against the background of the atrocious terrorist attacks in Paris, Mr. Domecq emphasised the need to further develop European defence integration, 'We need the right capabilities, a sound European armament policy supporting our defence industries, enhanced civil-military synergies and EU-NATO relations to make a quantum leap'.

"In his update, Mr. Domecq stressed that the upcoming Global Strategy as well as the European Commission's European Defence Action Plan were opportunities to address crucial elements for defence cooperation, the development of capabilities as well as strengthening of the European Defence and Industry Technological Base to safeguard Europe's strategic autonomy.

"Mr. Domecq also briefed Members of Parliament on the progress of the four capability programmes (air-to-air refuelling, cyber defence, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and governmental satellite communications) as well as on future cooperative programmes recently approved by Ministers of Defence (deployable bio-laboratory, Medevac and anti-tank weapons).

"Other initiatives in which the Agency has made progress in recent months include incentives for defence cooperation and mainly the VAT exemption for EDA projects, barter mechanisms, hybrid warfare. The Agency continues to work closely with the European Commission on the Preparatory Action on defence-related research as well as on facilitating access to EU instruments and funds for European companies working on dual-use technologies. Chief Executive Domecq also gave an update on the Agency's work on wider EU policies and mainly on SES/SESAR, REACH and Energy.

"He concluded his intervention by discussing the future role and direction of the Agency. The EDA is at the service of Member States and he insisted that there are five areas where Member States could and should make greater use of the Agency:

1) to use the Capability Development Plan as a real tool for defence planning;

2) systematic use of enablers;

3) the Preparatory Action on CSDP-related research should be the catalyst for greater engagement in cooperative defence R&T;

4) systematic harnessing of civil-military synergies; and

5) using the EDA to make better use of available EU funding."[141]

19.35  The EDA also talks of its Preparatory Action on CSDP-related research as "a potential game changer for European Defence Research".[142]

The 2016 EDA Budget

19.36  In his Explanatory Memorandum, dated 1 but not received until 4 December 2015, the Minister for Reserves says that a 10 November EDA Preparatory Committee meeting of pMS discussed Head of Agency's Mogherini's budget proposal — a 9.7% increase and a total budget of €33.5 million — but were unable to reach agreement; and that it was then discussed and rejected by at the Ministerial Steering Board on 17 November: "The EDA will therefore continue with a frozen, 'flat cash' budget for 2016".

19.37  The Minister elaborates on this process as follows:

"The 2016 budget proposal was supported by all other Member States, but the UK considered it unreasonable. We have consistently argued that the EDA needs to be realistic about its budget requirements, particularly in light of the financial challenges on Defence spending that were faced by many of the participating Member States. We could only accept a 2016 budget frozen at 2015 levels (€30.5 million) (zero Nominal Growth[143]) and indeed the same level since 2010. The UK was successful in achieving this budget freeze, which was agreed by Ministers at the Steering Board on 17 November.

"Once the budget is adopted the UK will be required to provide funding to the Agency in-line with current Member State percentage breakdown of contributions. Contributions are calculated based on Member States Gross National income; provision has been made in the Departmental costing for this expenditure."[144]

The Ministers' letter of 3 December 2015

19.38  In their letter, the Minister for Europe (Mr David Lidington) and the Minister for Reserves at the MOD (Mr Julian Brazier) provide what they describe as an "update following the 17 November Foreign Affairs Council on Defence (FAC(D)) and European Defence Agency (EDA) Steering Board", noting that High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini chaired both meetings; that Earl Howe, Minister of State and Lords Spokesman for Defence, represented the UK; and that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also attended.

19.39  The Ministers say:

"NOVEMBER FOREIGN AFFAIRS COUNCIL (DEFENCE)

"The FAC(D) started with discussion of the terrible attacks in Paris. French Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian requested bilateral support from Member States under Article 42.7 of the Lisbon Treaty — the Mutual Assistance Clause. Earl Howe confirmed the UK's continuing support to France, noting that bilateral contact between our two Governments was already underway. Following the FAC(D) we have remained in close contact with French authorities. We have offered support in a number of areas, including military and JHA, and are considering further requests for support. EU Member States were unanimous in offering their political support, and expressing their readiness to provide bilateral assistance.  NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg also attended."

19.40  The Ministers go on to say that other issues discussed at the FAC(D) included:

—  a call by the NATO Secretary General made for greater EU-NATO co-operation, particularly on capacity building and hybrid, which Earl Howe welcomed; they also note that UK officials are working with EU and NATO staff and partners to further strengthen EU-NATO co-operation, including through the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers on 1-2 December;

—  HR/Head of Agency Mogherini and the Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, El¿bieta Bienkowska, briefed Ministers on the progress of Capacity Building for Security and Development (CBSD) initiative and presented a draft Implementation Plan;[145]

—  Commissioner Bienkowska also updated Member States on Commission plans to develop a European Defence Action Plan, where she argued that four objectives should underpin the Action Plan: i) supporting further European Defence co-operation; ii) guaranteeing Europe's strategic Defence autonomy; iii) ensuring the Action Plan is coherent with wider EU policies and strategies; and iv) ways of supporting EU Member States develop capacity in new and emerging security areas, such as space and security; and where Earl Howe:

"welcomed the European Commission's Defence Action Plan only in so far as co-ordinating existing Commission instruments under a single plan, but urged caution regarding new initiatives, emphasising the need to implement those already agreed."

19.41  Regarding the EDA Steering Board Meeting, the Ministers say:

"Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the EDA, highlighted the Agency's delivery record to date. He focussed on the four main programmes underway (Cyber, Remotely Piloted Air Systems, Governmental SatCom, and Air-to-Air Refuelling) and the Agency's role in providing input to wider EU polices on stimulating Defence research and technology and supporting the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base.

"For the first time, the EDA published a three-year planning framework, rather than a single year plan — the UK welcomed this as one of the reforms the Agency has made in the past year to increase transparency and stakeholder communication. Mogherini, in her role as Head of the EDA, then sought Ministerial agreement on the key taskings and next steps outlined in the Steering Board documentation and on the 2016 budget proposal of 33.5 million Euros, (an increase of 9.7% on the previous year). Earl Howe said that the UK could not agree to any increase in the EDA's budget for 2016, but encouraged the EDA to continue with important reforms with a view to reviewing the UK's position for the 2017 budget. The Budget therefore remains at €30.5 million, representing Zero Nominal Growth.

"At the Steering Board, Luxembourg declared that they would voluntarily provide extra funds to the Agency's operational budget. On 18 November, the EDA provided a revised budget (based on €30.5 million) and stated that it would take pledges of additional revenue for the operational budget from Member States with a deadline of 30 November."

19.42  The Ministers conclude by anticipating two Explanatory Memoranda; firstly, dealing with the revised 2016 EDA budget (see above); and, then, with the EDA Annual Report (see below).

The Head of Agency's Report of November 2015

19.43  The report provides an overview of EDA activities and describes progress on the Agency's main output areas, including: Capability Development, Defence Cooperation Enablers,[146] Research and Technology, Strengthening European Defence Industry, Wider EU Policies, and Interaction with Key Stakeholders.

19.44  The report begins by declaring that the EDA "continues to pursue effective and output-oriented European cooperation in order to improve the defence capabilities of participating Member States", and does so through three key objectives endorsed by Defence Ministers in May 2015:

"support the development of capabilities and military cooperation; stimulate defence research and technology to prepare the capabilities of tomorrow and support the EDTIB;[147] and ensure that the interests and specificities of defence are taken into account in wider EU policies."

19.45  In his Explanatory Memorandum, also dated 1 December but not received until 14 December, the Minister for Reserves says that the 17 November FAC(D) noted the Report.

The Government's view

19.46   The Minister says that the Government is:

"content that the report accurately captures the key EDA activities and that those activities are consistent with the scope of the EDA's competence and remit."

19.47  He continues his comments as follows:

"The report does not hold implications for UK policy as it is a review of previous EDA work. The report provides information on EDA activity within Capability Development, including the four key programmes (Air to Air Refuelling, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, Governmental Satellite Communications, and Cyber Defence) that we continue to ensure are de-conflicted from existing NATO efforts. It also covers Defence Cooperation Enablers, of which the UK has benefited from the Collaborative Database run by the Agency. Within the Defence Cooperation Enablers section the UK is involved in the development of European Military Airworthiness Requirements (EMARs) through our participation in the EDA Military Airworthiness Authorities Forum. Our involvement has helped us steer the progress of the EMARs for management, aircraft maintenance, training/licensing, and certification. Similarly, we are involved in the area of the report concerning Research and Technology. As such we have been forward leaning in our involvement in the agreement of the governance for the Pilot Project to protect UK interests.

"The EDA's on-going activities to strengthen Defence Industry across Europe (Strategic Autonomy and Key Strategic Activities, Access to EU funds, Cross-Border Supply Chains/Balanced Access to the EDTIB, Security of Supply and Support to defence-related SMEs) are included in the report. We engage with the EDA to ensure the merits and practicalities of each activity are discussed with Member States and that they complement national activity. Our aim is to encourage a globally competitive European Defence Industry that delivers the interoperable capabilities our Armed Forces need at best value for money.  We have largely been successful in promoting a focus on areas that align with our national policy such as supporting SMEs. We will continue to work bilaterally with the EDA and with our Letter of Intent partners[148] to shape the Defence Industry agenda, influence action, and maximise the opportunities to the UK Defence Industry.

"The EDA's involvement in Wider EU Policies is also covered in the report. Single European Sky is an area in this work strand that we have shaped and have benefited from. The report concludes with information regarding activity involving Interaction with Key Stakeholders; within this area of activity we continue to promote de-confliction between EDA and NATO work strands. This will help maximise the EDA's use of resources and enable the EDA to add value in areas of common interest such as Capability Planning and Hybrid Warfare."

Previous Committee Reports

None, but see (37005), 11083/15: Third Report HC 342-iii (2015-16), chapter 6 (9 September 2015) and (36825), 8504/15: Fifteenth Report HC 342-xiv (2015-16), chapter 5 (16 December 2015).


128   The Letter of Intent (LoI) Framework Agreement (FA) Treaty was signed on 27 July 2000 by the defence ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK. It aimed to create the political and legal framework necessary to facilitate industrial restructuring in order to promote a more competitive and robust European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) in the global defence market. See Letter of Intent: restructuring the European defence industry for full information. Back

129   Hybrid warfare is a military strategy that blends conventional warfare, irregular warfare and cyberwarfare. According to the theory, by combining "kinetic" operations with subversive efforts, the aggressor intends to avoid attribution or retribution. Back

130   See (37005), 11083/15: Third Report HC 342-iii (2015-16), chapter 6 (9 September 2015) for details. Back

131   See Council Conclusions on CSDP. Back

132   See Section II of the European Council Conclusions Back

133   See the HR's Strategic Review: The European Union in a changing global environment: A more connected, contested and complex world. Back

134   See The Lisbon Treaty, Article 44 TEU. Back

135   See (35696), 17859/13, JOIN(13) 30: Twenty-ninth Report HC 219-xxviii (2014-15), chapter 12 (14 January 2015) and the earlier Reports referred to therein. Back

136   Third Report HC 342-iii (2015-16), chapter 6 (9 September 2015). Back

137   See Fifteenth Report HC 342-xiv (2015-16), chapter 5 (16 December 2015). Back

138   See European Defence Agency for full information. Back

139   See EU sets out path for ambitious European cooperation in defence and security for the full text. Back

140   See Outcome EDA Steering Board for full information. Back

141   See Discussion on defence cooperation in European Parliament. Back

142   See Preparatory Action for CSDP-related research.  Back

143   "Zero Nominal Growth - effectively a flat lined budget with zero growth without inflation as opposed to Zero Real Growth, which factors in inflation" (the Minister's footnote). Back

144   For the detailed breakdown, see European Defence Agency 2016 BUDGET PROPOSAL. Back

145   Dealt with separately at our 16 December 2015 meeting: see Joint Communication on capacity building in support of security and development: (36825), 8504/15, JOIN(15) 17: Fifteenth Report HC 342-xiv (2015-16), chapter 5 (16 December 2015). Back

146   I.e., where the EU is the EU is acting as "a facilitator and enabler for defence cooperation" to support Member States' capability development. See the Commission's statement of 15 March 2015 EU sets out path for ambitious European cooperation in defence and security for the wider background. Back

147   Described by the EDA as "a fundamental underpinning of the European Security and Defence Policy", meaning that one of EDA's "main roles is to help - within a capability-driven approach - to strengthen the EDTIB". The Agency is thus "required to bring forward, in consultation with the European Commission and Industry, as appropriate, relevant policies and strategies to develop the EDTIB in a balanced fashion" - a role that "has been reaffirmed in the Lisbon Treaty", which "recognises the Agency's role in 'identifying and implementing any useful measure for strengthening the industrial and technological base and improving the effectiveness of military expenditure'". Back

148   France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Back


 
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Prepared 15 January 2016