Czech Presidency of the Visegrad Group (V4) - July 2015 to June 2016
The Czech Republic is taking over the Presidency at a time when the world is undergoing fundamental changes of its security environment with direct consequences for both the Euro-Atlantic as well as global security and stability, with an armed conflict taking place in Ukraine, in the immediate vicinity of the V4.
The Czech V4 Presidency will actively reflect this development in its activities, supporting measures that address this change and strengthening the common defence capabilities of the Visegrad countries and the organisations of which the Visegrad countries are members.
Defence cooperation within the Visegrad Group received a significant impulse when, in spring 2014, the Defence Ministers signed the Long Term Vision of the Visegrad Countries on Deepening Their Defence Cooperation. The Czech Republic will actively promote the fulfilment of individual Vision priorities based on the tasks laid down in the Action Plan. In particular, we will push for progress on the question of building up a permanent V4 military structure (a permanent regional modular force) and harmonising national defence and acquisition plans, with the goal of making space for common acquisition projects, as well as to continue the common armament development projects, with a view to examine future new cooperation areas. We will also focus on a joint V4 airspace protection.
A great attention will be devoted to the V4 cooperation within NATO. Around the changeover of the Czech and Polish V4 Presidencies, a NATO Summit will take place in Warsaw. The Czech Republic will strive for an ambitious text of a joint V4 declaration for the Warsaw Summit, tying in to the similar V4 declaration for the Summit in Chicago. In this context, a series of consultations between representatives of Defence and Foreign Ministries within the V4 is planned, as well as with key allies, in particular, the USA. Our further ambition will be to continue implementing the Readiness Action Plan (RAP) so as to deliver its individual measures even before the Warsaw summit. We will push for an active involvement of the V4 in implementing the individual measures of the RAP with an emphasis on a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) and on further strengthening of the role of the Multinational Corps Northeast in Szczecin.
In the case of the EU, a fundamental starting point for the CZ V4 PRES will be the June meeting of the European Council on defence issues. The Czech Republic will focus on coordinating the implementation of the European Council conclusions concerning the CSDP, including the implementation of shared V4 positions on priority issues, especially within the context of updating the European Security Strategy. Under the Czech Presidency, the process of preparation of the Visegrad EU Battlegroup (V4 EU BG) to be on stand-by in the first half of 2016 will be completed. The ambition is to leave in place a more stable V4 structure capable of deployment under both the EU and NATO. In this regard, preparations will also continue for putting the V4 EU BG on standby in 2019. During the COMMON CHALLENGE certification exercises in 2015, we will also seek to organise a discussion at the level of Defence Ministers with the goal of testing the efficiency of national decision-making mechanisms in the case of deployment of the V4 EU BG.
Cyber security is also a prospective topic for the Visegrad cooperation. The CZ V4 PRES will push to deepen and increase the efficiency of cooperation within the Central European Cyber Security Platform (CECSP). This will particularly include harmonising the positions of the V4 countries on fundamental topics of cyber security, including their positions within international organisations, organising expert workshops and introducing standards and secured channels as part of communication among the CECSP states. The V4 will also continue in the practice of cooperation among specialised police units and national “centres of excellence” focused on research in the area of cybernetic crime.
Professional Military Education (PME) is another very important area of the Security and Defence Cooperation within the V4. The CZ V4 PRES will foster activities of the Visegrad Group Military Education Platform (VIGMILEP), a platform that allows synchronization and interoperability of the V4 countries’ PME systems and thus enhances the PME quality of every individual member.
The CZ V4 PRES will deepen defence cooperation in the V4+ format, in particular, with France, Germany and the USA. We will also actively support the strengthening of ties between the V4 and NORDEFCO.
Last update: July 1, 2016