The European Defence Agency (EDA) was set up on the basis of a joint action by the Council of Ministers dated 12 July 2004 and is one of the Services of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) based in Brussels. All Member States of the European Union, except Denmark, participate in the Agency. Cyprus became a full member of the EDA by decision of the Council of Ministers from the 25th of June 2004.
The Agency's mission is to support the efforts of the Council and Member States, to improve the European Union's defence capabilities in the field of crisis management, as well as to support the CFSP. It also aims to promote and strengthen the European cooperation in the field of armaments, the European industrial and technological base in the field of defence, to create a competitive European defence equipment market, and to promote research and development.
EDA is the only Agency of the European Union whose Board of Directors meets at the Ministerial level, twice a year. The Agency is headed by the EU High Representative for External Relations and Security Policy, who is also Vice-President of the European Commission. The EU High Representative Is responsible for the general organization and operation of the Agency and also ensures the guidelines adopted by the Council and the decisions of the Management Board are implemented by the Executive Director of the Agency.