The European Defence Agency (EDA) is an intergovernmental Agency of the European Council.
The European Defence Agency was established under a Joint Action of the Council of Ministers of 12 July, 2004, “to support the Member States and the Council in their effort to improve European defence capabilities in the field of crisis management and to sustain the European Security and Defence Policy – now Common Security and Defence Policy – as it stands now and develops in the future”. To implement the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty, this Joint Action was replaced by a Council Decision on 12 July 2011.
The Agency is a unique structure : it brings together capabilities, research and technology, armaments and industry and market experts under the same roof. They work in an integrated way to ensure that capabilities are planned and delivered coherently, respecting the requirements and market availability. This joint functional approach is combined with a bottom-up expert level initiative and top-down political direction. An Agency of the Council, EDA is mentioned in the EU Treaties and is the only EU Agency whose Steering Board meets at ministerial level. This makes EDA unique and gives it top-level political impetus and support.
The Head of Agency, who is the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, is also Vice-President of the European Commission. The EDA Chief Executive is appointed by decision of the Board. This position has been held by Jorge Domecq since February 2015.