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Defence Organisations (UK Membership)

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the case for the UK simultaneously retaining its membership of the Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en Matiere D’Armement and the European Defence Agency; and if he will make a statement. (98346)

[holding answer 31 October 2006]: The UK remains firmly committed to our membership of both the Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en Matiere D’Armement (OCCAR) and the European Defence Agency (EDA). These two organisations have differing purposes and memberships, and complement each other.

OCCAR is a project management organisation, managing a number of collaborative armament acquisition programmes, including the A400M programme. Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK are members. OCCAR programmes are open to participation by non-member nations.

The EDA does not manage collaborative acquisition programmes. It works to promote and enhance such collaboration, by providing contractual services for collaborative research projects, through the identification of common military requirements, and by improving the transparency of the European Defence Equipment Market. All EU member states except Denmark are members of the EDA, and there is also an administrative agreement with Norway, enabling their involvement in EDA facilitated projects.