Today, the new Code of Conduct on Offsets was launched. The 26 subscribing countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and Norway.
The Code envisages a more transparent use of offsets. Offsets are compensations that governments require from non-national contractors as a condition for purchasing defence articles or services. These compensations can cover a wide range of activities directly or indirectly related to the object of the procurement contract. Indirect offsets, in turn, can be defence related or non-defence related (see Commission Interpretative Communication on the application of Article 296 EC, 7/12/2006, SEC(2006) 1554). According to EDA, the Agency’s reporting and monitoring system for the Code of Conduct on Offsets will help to ensure mutual transparency and accountability among subscribing Member States, so that they can be confident that the Code is working as intended. From 1 July, the subscribing Member States will also make available on EDA website their national offset policies and practices (see www.eda.europa.eu).