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Jiří Šedivý was presented as new EDA Chief Executive

The EDA Steering Board appointed Jiří Šedivý, former Czech Defence Minister, as new EDA Chief Executive upon recommendation of the Head of the European Defence Agency Josep Borrell. He will take office in April 2020.

Jiří Šedivý has extensive experience in the defence domain, having served as Defence Minister of the Czech Republic (2006-2007), Deputy Defence Minister (2010-2012), NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning (2007-2010) and Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to NATO (2012-2019). He also was Deputy Minister for European Affairs of the Czech Republic (2007). On 1 September 2019 (and until today), Mr Šedivý was appointed by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs as special representative for resilience and new threats.

Joseph Borrell said, “Jiří Šedivý’s ministerial and diplomatic experience as well as his deep practical knowledge of the European and transatlantic security and defence realm make him the ideal candidate to lead the European Defence Agency in the coming years. We need a strong and supportive European Defence Agency to ensure coherence and focus on agreed joint priorities in the implementation of our defence initiatives. I am certain Jiří Šedivý will provide this leadership”.

Šedivý is a graduate of Charles University, Prague, where he earned a PhD in Political Science, and of King’s College, London, where he earned an MA in War Studies. From 2004 to 2006 he was Professor of Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. He lectured on such topics as defence sector transformation, civil-military relations and national strategy making.

Between 1999 and 2004, he was Director of the Institute of International Relations in Prague, Assistant Professor of International Relations at Charles University, Prague, and Professor of European Security at New York University, Prague Centre. As an expert, he played an important role in the Czech Republic’s accession to NATO.

New Measures because of COVID-19

The European Defence Agency (EDA) takes additional precautionary measures to those announced on 4 and 6 March in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. The measures are in line with advice received by the Belgian national authorities on 12 March and considering the approach taken at EU level.

These are the current measures:

  • All meetings and events planned to be hosted by the Agency until 8 April will be postponed to a later date
  • As of 16 March, all EDA staff in non-critical functions will telework, until further notice
  • Colleagues who ensure critical functions will continue to be present at the Agency
  • Any person with symptoms is asked to stay at home and self-isolate
  • Hygiene measures are systematically being reinforced and staff have been asked to observe them meticulously
  • All non-essential travel arrangements are to be cancelled until 8 April included.

First Energy Consultation Forum project to receive EU funding

‘RESHUB’, a Slovenian-led project increasing reliable and sustainable energy in the defence sector, has been selected to receive technical support thanks to funding from the EU’s Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP).

RESHUB”, which stands for ‘Defence Resilience Hub Network in Europe’, is a project conceived and led by the Slovenian Ministry of Defence under the Consultation Forum on Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS) which is currently in its third phase. Other participating countries in the project are Austria, Belgium, Germany and Hungary.

The aim of this project is to help build a renewable energy harvesting and hydrogen (H2) energy storage capability and to facilitate cross-Europe transportation, which will lower CO2 emissions and contribute to energy sustainability in the EU defence and security sector.

Throughout phase III of the Consultation Forum, EDA will continue to support participating Member States’ Ministries of Defence (MoDs) to tackle energy security challenges including via energy efficiency and buildings performance, renewable energy solutions and the protection of defence-related critical energy infrastructure.

Defence Research Project gets co-funded by EU Structural Funds

Co-funding worth some 5 million euros from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) has been allocated to an EDA-supported defence research project aimed at developing protective clothing for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD).

EOD operators face severe risks when identifying, disabling or dismantling explosive devices, be it in military operations or in a civilian context (terrorism, unexploded ammunition in former conflict zones, etc). To provide them with best possible protection, the ‘Active Protection Costume EOD’ project is developing a special protective suit based on innovative materials and numerical simulations for structures.

The consortium in charge of the development encompasses STIMPEX S.A., a Romanian SME, the Romanian Scientific Research Center for CBRN Defense and Ecology as well as the National Institute for Research and Development for Non-Ferrous and Rare Metals.

Zagreb Conference is postponed

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Croatian EU Presidency and EDA have decided to postpone this event which was initially planned for 24 March.

The Zagreb Conference deals with the topic on Unlocking the potential of European Defence Cooperation and new opportunities for an enhanced European Defence Industry.

The new date for the conference is 25/26 June 2020.

SWIFT BLADE 2020 cancelled

SWIFT BLADE 2020 which was meant to be the largest and most complex BLADE exercise ever performed under the auspices of EDA’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), initially scheduled to take place in the Netherlands and Belgium between 14 April and 1 May 2020, has been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.