V4 Ministers of Defence meet in Liblice

Autor: Oldrich Holecek

The central themes of the two-day meeting of the Visegrad Group (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, V4) were the status of defence cooperation concerning the migration crisis and the current security situation.

Under the auspices of the Czech Presidency of the V4, the four ministers of defence discussed the broader aspects of the deployment of the V4 EU Battlegroup, as well as issues which will shape the agenda of the upcoming NATO Summit in Warsaw in July.

The ministers reviewed the Group’s past military cooperation and agreed that the joint exercises, defence education and the implementation of the V4 Training Strategy have significantly contributed to strengthening the armed forces’ interoperability. The ministers specifically mentioned the Common Challenge, Capable Logistician, Tobruq Legacy, and Slovak Shield exercises.

They also agreed that, in cooperation with their Baltic allies, they would continue working on the plan to have a V4 rotational military presence on the Eastern Flank from 2017.

The four ministers, Minister Martin Stropnicky, the Czech Republic, Deputy Minister Tamas Varga, Hungary, Minister Antoni Macierewic, Poland, and Minister Peter Gajdos, Slovakia, later signed the Joint Declaration of the Visegrad Group Ministers of Defence.

"My colleagues and I have agreed to confirm our commitment to have a Visegrad armed forces presence in the Baltic region," said Minister Stropnicky at the end of the meeting which was held at Liblice Castle, northeast of Prague on 25th and 26th May.

By Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek