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Military Europe: officials celebrate at EDA conference as protesters gather outside
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"The European Defence Agency (EDA) Annual Conference 2017 entitled 'Security in the digital age: the added value of European cooperation’ was opened Thursday morning (23 November) in Brussels by the Head of the Agency, Federica Mogherini.

Addressing a 400-strong audience representing the whole European defence spectrum - governments, armed forces, industry, EU institutions, NATO, think tanks and media - Mrs Mogherini said the conference was taking place “at the most important moment for European defence in decades” with bold new initiatives such as the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and the European Defence Fund (EDF) creating an unprecedented momentum for enhanced cooperation."

See: Federica Mogherini opens Annual Conference at “most important moment for EU defence in decades” (EDA, link)

And the text of Mogherini's speech: Remarks by High-Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the 2017 Annual Conference of the European Defence Agency (pdf)

The conference did not go unnoticed by anti-militarist and peace protesters, who were outside to offer their own welcome to conference attendees. See: Peace protest at EU workshop for arms dealers (YouTube, link):

"Today a group of twenty peace activists took action at the European Defence Agency (EDA) in Brussels, to protest an EU workshop aimed at informing arms dealers about the financial support that Europe has to offer them. The peace activists covered themselves with red blood-like paint, preventing access to the European Defence Agency. “While the Middle-East is burning, arms dealers are filling their pockets with our tax money,” says one of the activists. “The EU is funding an industry which has blood on its hands”."

An Irish MEP also attempted to attend the invite-only event but was escorted out by police: Brussels police bundle Luke 'Ming' Flanagan down street after bid to enter invite-only EU defence meeting (, link)

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