While the NATO operation in Libya demonstrated the high level of military engagement successfully undertaken by Europeans alongside Americans, declining defense budgets are placing a stronger emphasis on the effective pooling and sharing of resources among European Union (EU) member states. The European Defence Agency (EDA) was created in 2004 precisely to improve the EU’s defense capabilities through the enhancement of procurement cooperation and the creation of an EU-wide defense equipment market. The EDA’s task is now more urgent than ever, but it faces a number of challenges, including reluctance on the part of member states to pool their resources.
On September 15, the Center on the United States and Europe and the Heinrich Böll Foundation of North America hosted Ms. Claude-France Arnould, chief executive of the EDA, for a discussion of the agency’s achievements, challenges and plans for the future. Previously, Arnould led the Crisis Management and Planning Directorate at the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, and served as director for defense issues at the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU from 2001 to 2009. She was previously the director of international and strategic affairs at the French National Defense General Secretariat. She was joined by Peter Flory, distinguished senior visiting fellow at the National Defense University’s Center for Transatlantic Security Studies, who served in NATO’s top armaments job as assistant secretary general for defence investment from 2007 to 2010. Prior to his NATO assignment, he served as U.S. assistant secretary of defense for international security policy.
Senior Fellow Justin Vaïsse, CUSE director of research, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, the panelists took audience questions.