CZ Presidency Agenda under the Aegis of the National Armaments Director

At the start of the Presidency of the Czech Republic of the Council of the EU on 1 January 2009, the Presidency in the realm of responsibility of the National Armaments Director was committed to pursue two areas of interest: the centres of excellence and small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), and education in armaments.

With regard to the first area, the Czech Republic has aimed to contribute to the implementation of the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) Strategy by opening the discussion on the overall concept of industrial centres of excellence - their focus, expertise and partnership - and the role that industrial centres of excellence could play in creating a competitive European Defence Equipment Market (EDEM) and a strong EDTIB. A special attention was sought to be devoted to the relation between industrial centres of excellence and SMEs, including security of supply (SoS) issues, thereby advancing the SMEs related agenda pursued by the German, Slovenian and French Presidencies.

The second area, the Czech EU Presidency sought to focus on, was education in armaments cooperation and how to establish a common European educational and training platform for both the tactical and strategic level of stakeholders. More specifically, the Czech Republic strived for streamlining the discussion on the overall concept of education in armaments, structural and institutional questions and on fundamental elements of the potential courses in order to find common ground for the establishment of a European armaments co-operation educational and training platform.

While the above mentioned topics were the Czech Republic´s principal priorities in the realm of the responsibility of the National Armaments Director just at the start of the Presidency, there were other issues and events that coincided with the Presidency and that were eventually included in the Presidency’s portfolio. Chief among them was the question of Military Airworthiness Harmonisation, where the Czech Republic contributed to the development of a common set of European Airworthiness Requirements effort.

To that end, the Czech Republic, in a close collaboration with the European Defence Agency (EDA) and other important stakeholders, prepared three respective events: “Increased Role of SMEs in the European Defence and Security Supply Chain,” Olomouc, 27-29 May 2009; “Military Airworthiness Harmonisation Workshop,” Olomouc, 4-6 June 2009; and “European Education and Training in Armaments Co-operation – The Way Ahead,” Prague, 15-16 June 2009.

The agenda, key findings and recommendations of these events are now available for download in the following document: