As part of the depth and diversity roadmap the Agency was tasked to support the involvement of SMEs and non-traditional suppliers in the EDTIB
by, amongst other things, developing in close dialogue with pMSs and industry, support measures aimed at making SMEs prosper further in a European-scale market.
The EDA Steering Board therefore agreed on developing a number of measures aimed at supporting increased involvement of SMEs and non-traditional suppliers in the EDTIB
The aim is to have a short political statement, an EDTIB
Charter, that defence ministers can agree to in May.
Back in February, speaking at a major EDTIB
conference in Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana called for "pretty radical changes" if the European defence industry is to hold its own against the US today and against China and India in the longer term.
In his view, the EDTIB
has to be oriented towards the military needs of the armed forces.
No-one should remain under the illusion that a healthy and fully comprehensive European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB
) can be sustained on a national basis," warned Solana in a keynote speech to an EDTIB
conference in Brussels on 1 February.
Speaking at a 13 November Security and Defence Agenda debate, Enterprise Commissioner Gunter Verheugen said that there was too much "unnecessary fragmentation" in the EU, that it was hard to speak of an EDTIB
and that things looked gloomy for European industry if nothing substantial was done.