Appointment of Senior Finnish Defense Official at the European Defence Agency


According to a story published on the Finnish Ministry of Defence website, a Finn has been appointed to a major position at the European Defence Agency.

Director of the Defence Materiel Unit Olli Ruutu at the Ministry of Defence will start, on 16 March 2018, as Deputy Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA).

The Deputy Chief Executive will work together with Jorge Domecq, the Spanish Chief Executive of the EDA, under Federica Mogherini who is also the Head of the Agency. 

Finland has not had as significant a task at the EDA before this.

The appointment is important also because until now Finland has had very few high-calibre tasks like this one at the EU level.

Ruutu’s appointment strengthens, for its part, Finland’s opportunity to influence the development of the permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) and the defence of the EU, both of which fall within the mandate of the EDA. 

Olli Ruutu is an internationally recognized expert with a strong level of competence.

Before the appointment, he worked as Director of the Materiel Unit in the Ministry of Defence.

The Unit is responsible, among other things, for steering materiel projects in the defence administration, international cooperation, and export control of defence materiel.

Established in 2004, the EDA functions under the Council of the European Union with the task to support member countries to develop their military capabilities.

The EDA plays a central role in developing the PESCO and defence of the EU. Apart from Denmark, all of the EU countries take part in the Agency’s activities.

The EDA promotes cooperation, starts new projects and produces solutions that develop defence capabilities. It also plays a major role in developing resources for the common defence and security policy.