On 23 June 2021, the 18th OCCAR-EDA Bilateral meeting was held at OCCAR-EA’s premises in Bonn between the OCCAR-EA Director, Mr Matteo Bisceglia and the EDA’s Chief Executive Mr Jiří Šedivý, to assess progress on OCCAR-EDA collaboration and to agree the way ahead on future cooperation.
This was the first face to face meeting between OCCAR-EA and EDA since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent meetings between the two organisations have been held virtually, to ensure the health and safety of everyone. The 18th Bilateral meeting as a face to face forum allowed constructive debate in real time on all the topics of the agenda.
The Bilateral meeting proved to be very productive. The most important issue related to how best to enhance synergies between the two agencies for EU cooperative programmes. It was also a good occasion to exchange updates on current OCCAR managed programmes (MMF, ESSOR, MALE RPAS) initialised under the EDA’s umbrella as EDA initiatives or CAT.B Projects. The EDA’s Chief Executive also provided an informative update on EU initiatives managed by the agency (namely, CARD, PESCO and EDIDP/EDF co-funding).
Discussions at the Bilateral also addressed how to extend the cooperation framework by improving the exchange of information on several subjects under EDA’s lead (REACH, MAWA).
Finally, both the OCCAR-EA Director and EDA’s Chief Executive positively assessed progress achieved so far and re-affirmed their intention to continue on this mutually beneficial path of cooperation, with particular emphasis on avoiding duplication of effort and to maximise efforts to enhance interoperability within Europe.