DOD signs info-sharing agreement with European Defence Agency

By Tony Bertuca / April 26, 2023 at 10:15 AM

The Defense Department and the European Defence Agency have signed a new agreement to provide "stronger transatlantic cooperation" in several areas, including information sharing on supply chain issues.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the agreement will strengthen U.S. and European commitments to NATO and transatlantic security.

“Russia's aggression against Ukraine underlines the importance of strong U.S.-European ties in NATO and with the European Union,” he said. “Deepening dialogue and cooperation will only strengthen this key strategic partnership moving forward.”

The “administrative agreement,” according to DOD, will “enable a substantial defense dialogue” with the EDA.

“Initial activities include consultations on the impact of EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation; military mobility; supply chain issues; and the impact of climate change on defense,” DOD said. “It also allows for U.S. participation in the open session of the European Defence Standardisation Committee.”

The agreement was signed today in Brussels by Jiři Šedivý, chief executive of the EDA, and Bill LaPlante, under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.

LaPlante and other Pentagon officials have said their top priorities include finding global solutions -- like “friend-shoring” -- to capacity issues in the U.S. defense industrial base that have been highlighted by ongoing support to Ukraine.

Josep Borrell, head of the EDA, said the information-sharing agreement would be key for future cooperation.

“At a time when war has returned to Europe, we need to open every avenue for cooperation with our closest partners,” he said. “The EDA-U.S. Administrative Arrangement provides another pillar to strengthen transatlantic cooperation and the link between the EU and the U.S. The European Defence Agency, as the hub for EU defense cooperation, plays a unique role in raising our level of defense cooperation and contributing to make the EU a stronger defense actor and partner."