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European Defence Agency Membership Review

Volume 558: debated on Tuesday 12 February 2013

I am announcing today that following a review of our membership of the European Defence Agency (EDA), the UK will at the present time remain a member of the agency.

In 2010 the UK reviewed its membership of the EDA following the strategic defence and security review. Subsequently, my predecessor, my right hon. Friend the Member for North Somerset (Dr Fox), recommended that the UK should remain a member of the EDA with a stocktake after two years.

In consultation across Government, my Department has reassessed the benefits of remaining in the EDA and reviewed progress made by the agency since 2010 against identified shortfalls.

The EDA has made progress in some areas requiring reform, but there is more to be done to improve its operational effectiveness and so the case for continued membership remains finely balanced. Overall, I have concluded that for now the UK should remain a member of the EDA with our continuing membership to be reviewed again in late 2013 in light of progress made during the year.