The European Defence Agency (EDA), thanks to the adoption of a large number of strategic documents and its expertise in the formulation of collaborative projects, has become a crucial player in the European defence field. However, the role of the EDA and the everyday practices of the people that work in and collaborate with the Agency remain to be studied systematically. No empirical studies have been conducted to assess the EDA ‘hybrid’ way of working that includes European, governmental and non-governmental experts.
The article argues that the EDA is at the core of an emerging transgovernmental network of European defence experts and professionals, that are able to share best practices, ‘know how’ and develop common norms of communication. This transgovernmental network of experts is generating a process of informal socialization among defence practitioners, it is shaping Member States’ defence planning in research and technology (R&T) activities and, in general, it is legitimizing the role of EDA in the broader EU institutional context.European Foreign Affairs Review