Framework for Cooperation with the European Defence Agency EDA

Military personnel working on computers.
The cooperation enables Switzerland to identify armament policy developments at an early stage and to participate in multilateral armament cooperation and training activities in Europe. © Jonas Kambli DDPS

Switzerland and the European Defence Agency (EDA) signed a Framework for Cooperation on 16 March 2012. The agreement, which is non-legally binding, sets out the terms of cooperation with EDA. It enables Switzerland to cooperate multilaterally in all of EDA's fields of activity, including research, development, armaments, education and training.

Based on the Framework for Cooperation, Switzerland receives information on projects and programmes planned as part of European armaments cooperation, including research, education and training. This enables Switzerland to identify ad hoc projects, programmes and activities in which it wishes to participate and provide input into specific expert forums and research groups.

The Framework for Cooperation also enables Switzerland to identify developments in armaments and defence policy at an early stage, cement its positioning as a centre for research and technology, and build on the standard training and education programme for its armed forces. Working with EDA is therefore integral to Switzerland's armaments strategy, which sets out the basis for international cooperation to ensure access to security-related technologies and industrial core capabilities and capacities.

Armasuisse, the procurement and technology arm of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) coordinates Switzerland's cooperation with EDA.

The Framework for Cooperation does not require Switzerland to provide specific information or participate in specific EDA projects or programmes. Switzerland has full autonomy to decide whether or not to be involved in particular projects. To participate in a specific EDA project Switzerland must enter into a separate project agreement with all partner countries governing specific technical and administrative matters.

Chronology

2020

  • Federal Council approves participation in EDA's Helicopter Exercise Programme (11 December)
  • Project cooperation agreement signed: testing and evaluation of personal protective equipment (June 2020)

2018–20

  • First project collaboration: study on the protection of autonomous systems against enemy interference

2012

  • Signing and entry into force of the Swiss-EDA Framework for Cooperation (16 March 2012)