Brussels: The steering board of the European Defence Agency (EDA) has agreed to a roadmap, as well as a timetable, to produce a comprehensive Capability Development Plan (CDP), which will help EU governments identify key capability areas that they must work together to develop, in order to meet future security threats, and also to look at possible areas for collaboration in order to deliver the necessary capabilities.
The meeting of senior defence planners from the 26 EU governments participating in the European Defence Agency has asked for an initial part of the CDP to be delivered early next year and a full draft of the plan to be ready for the steering board to review next July.
"The CDP must deliver actionable conclusions, agreed capability development priorities, initial action plans and identified cooperative opportunities, which participating Member States may choose to pursue individually or in combinations inside or outside the EDA environment," said Lo Casteleijn, who chaired the meeting on behalf of Javier Solana, the head of the Agency.
The European Defence Agency has been created to help EU Member States develop their defence capabilities for crisis-management operations under the European Security and Defence Policy.
The four main areas that the CDP expects to address, involve identifying shortfalls from existing goals, doing capability studies on key issues to develop the Long-Term Vision (LTV) guidance, building a database of current national defence plans and programmes, and drawing lessons from current experience for future capability needs.
The steering board said the CDP would not be a supranational military equipment or capability plan replacing national defence plans and programmes, but would support national decision-making.
The plan should ensure that emerging technology opportunities influence capability development and provide a focus for R&D activity and investment, thus helping to strengthen the European defence technological and industrial base by making clear to industry what will be needed in the future.