Athens: The upgraded role of Greece in the geopolitical forefront of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans, as well as the “rebirth” of the Hellenic defence industry, will be a main focal of the international defence and security exhibition DEFEA – Defence Exhibition Athens 2023, which will take place from May 9 to May 11, in Athens Metropolitan Expo.
The participation of numerous diplomatic missions and 350 leading defence companies from 27 countries confirm that Greece is a point of reference for the region of Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Armenia, Austria, France, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, India, Israel, Italy, China, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia and the Czech Republic will participate with national stands, as well as the European Commission with the Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space. Independent entries include Belgium, Switzerland, Poland, Spain and Sweden. Hellenic Ministry of National Defence and Hellenic National Defence General Staff will participate with their own stands.
At the forefront, geopolitical, economic and technological developments from the United States to China and from Russia to Iran, as well as the role of NATO, Europe and Greece in the constantly evolving landscape of security threats and challenges, will be a main focal and talking point among political, academic and military participants of DEFEA.
Within the framework of DEFEA, many national delegations, defence ministers and deputy ministers and Chiefs of Staff are expected to visit Greece. The participation of high-ranking political and military officials coincides with the official launch of Greece’s campaign for election as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2025-26 period, which aims to expand Greece’s geopolitical footprint on the international stage.
The fact that Greece is organising one of the most important international defence and security exhibitions, at a time of tectonic changes that reshape the future, confirms Greece’s role a pillar of security and stability as well as a regional power. Emphasising on Hellenic defence industry, the framework of DEFEA was the subject of a detailed presentation to Defence Attaches and the diplomatic officials of foreign countries in a meeting held by the Hellenic Ministry of National Defence, while a working meeting took place with the executives of the exhibition organizers, ROTA SA.
Deputy Minister of National Defence, Nikolaos Hardalias conveyed the message that the country needs a robust defence industry that will serve as a catalyst for achieving strategic autonomy. Extroversion is still a main goal for Greek companies which are exploring new markets and participating in defence exhibitions worldwide.
Last week, a working meeting led by the Deputy Minister of National Defence Nikolaos Hardalias with executives of the exhibition organisation company ROTA SA took place at the Ministry of National Defence. The meeting was attended by the Chairman of the Board, ROTA SA Georgios Tsausoglou, the CEO Alexis Lagoudakis and the Director of the “DEFEA 2023” Exhibition Vassilios Barkas, the Directors of the Executive Office Eleni Bobou and of the Military Office Captain Georgios Zouros HN, as well as competent Staff of the Office of the Deputy Minister of National Defence.
In the meeting organisational actions and action planning were discussed regarding the holding of the second DEFEA. The Ministry of National Defence and the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (HNDGS) will have their own stands.
In 2021, the organisation of the first DEFEA was particularly successful, with the participation of 315 exhibitors from 22 countries and the presence of 45 official national delegations, at a particularly high political and military level. This year the expectations are even higher. With the cooperation of the Association of Hellenic Manufacturers of Defence Material (SEKPY), which represents over 150 certified Greek companies active in the field of Defence, and the valuable patronage and assistance of the Ministry of Defence, DEFEA will once again present an exhibition worthy of the history of defence exhibitions of the country and the importance of its geopolitical position.
Strengthening the Hellenic defence industry is a strategic goal of Hellenic government as Greece is investing in upgrading its defence capabilities. With exhibitors coming from more than 27 countries and delegation from at least 55 countries, DEFEA is a hub for cooperation among the hundreds of representatives of the Greek and international defence community and the leaders of the global industry.
In the context of DEFEA, events and workshops will be organised with a focus on European and NATO initiatives like the European Defence Fund (EDF Cross-Project Conference) and NATO defence innovation initiatives, such as the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) and the NATO Innovation Fund.
Furthermore, parallel actions will take place on special and extremely timely issues such as The Future of Firefighting: Impact on Life, Environment, Economy, Best Practices for Innovative Border Management Solutions (Piloting, Validation and Best Practices of Innovative Border Management Solutions) and Critical Infrastructure Protection.
DEFEA 2023 is also under the auspices of the Ministry of Civil Protection and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy and the support of the Hellenic Aerospace Security & Defense Industries Group (HASDIG) and the Hellenic Association of Space Industry (HASI).