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Parliamentary question - E-009217/2016(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Ms Bieńkowska on behalf of the Commission

The Group of Personalities for Defence Research (GoP) was set up to provide the Commission with recommendations for a long-term vision on a future EU funded defence research programme. The participants of this group included HR/VP Mogherini, Members of the European Parliament, heads of research and technology organisations and company chief executive officers (CEOs).

Given the political and strategic nature of the advice requested from the GoP, which did not include technical experts, it was not registered as a ‘Commission Expert Group’. The GoP has in the meantime delivered its final report[1] and is not active anymore.

Among many of the suggestions and recommendations set out in its report, the GoP proposed the establishment of a ‘European Defence Advisory Board’. This suggestion has not been picked up by the Commission. More detailed views were presented in the Commission's European Defence Action Plan of November 2016.

The Commission, in dialogue with Member States, decided that the governance of the Preparatory Action for Defence Research will follow Comitology rules which includes, amongst others, an Advisory Group with representatives from various interest groups, such as academia, research and technology organisation, and industry.

The group will be set up on the basis of a call for expression of interest. Members of the group will be nominated in a personal capacity to advice the Commission on the implementation of the Preparatory Action.

However, independently of the GoP's recommendations, the Commission has decided to set up an Advisory Group advising the Commission on certain aspects related to the implementation of the Preparatory Action on Defence Research that will run from 2017 to 2019.

This group will be a ‘Commission Expert Group’ and follow the rules laid down in Commission Decision C(2016) 3301.