On the publication of statistics by the European Defence Agency (EDA)

On 25 May, the EDA's Defence Data Portal released the EU member states' defence data for 2013 (minus Denmark which is not a member of the Agency), which significantly enlarges the Agency's statistics on the whole released in April, as well as specified available data across NATO countries.

According to the released data, 2013 saw the seventh consecutive reduction in the number of personnel working in defence (military and civilian) in 27 European countries: from 2006 the total military personnel decreased by over 500,000 and constituted 1,435,693 military and civilian reduced by over 80,000 and reached 407,245 civilian personnel. Furthermore, the number of military personnel most all fell in the Czech Republic (by 7.9%) and the UK (by 6.5%) and went up in Hungary (by 25.7%).

Defence expenditure of the member states in 2013 decreased of the whole by EUR 1.7bn or 0.3% in nominal terms. Solely the UK managed to observe (2.13%) recommended by EDA MS November 2007 agreement level of defence expenditure at 2% GDP.
When using EDA's defiance expenditure data, one should bear in mind that it is compiled on the information submitted by the national defiance ministries and reflects their real expenditure. As a result, corresponding amounts, as a rule, are below the total defiance expenditure amounts of corresponding countries published by SIPRI.

Russian defence data in term of the number of pensioners, including disabled registered and receiving pensions from the Ministry of Defence of Russia against the background of the European data looks rather bad in the contrast and, consequently, it is released in machine-readable copy strangely titled 'Open data'. Nothing left by hope, that delayed from December last year Russian defence data release 'Army in numbers' finally will be published and the statistics will be presented in human readable copy.

Vasily Zatsepin – candidate of science (military), head of the Defence Economics Department