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Central Europe Chiefs of Defence Conference in Slovakia

Szöveg: General Staff |  2018. január 31. 11:15

Military freedom of movement, the foundations of integrating air and missile defence and countering malign influence were the main topics at the 6th meeting of Central European Chiefs of Defence, which was hosted by Bratislava on 29–30 January.

The conference was attended by Chiefs of Defence from eight countries and the Commander of the United States European Command (EUCOM). Hungary was represented at the event by Chief of Defence General Dr. Tibor Benkő. The countries participating in the meeting – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania – exchanged views on three main issues.


One leading topic was military freedom of movement and military mobility strategy. The role and significance of military freedom of movement has increased since the Wales Summit in 2015, because in order to maintain security, it is necessary to create conditions to ensure that NATO forces can cross borders quickly, which guarantees the movement of the NATO rapid reaction forces. In the field of military freedom of movement, the main topics of discussion were the revision of already existing and working processes as well as the amendment, simplification and acceleration of existing solutions

. Another important item on the agenda was the issue of integrated air and missile defence. Hungary stays committed to the operation of the system, as collective action is an effective guarantee of the sovereignty and security of the countries.

The third main topic of the meeting was the ways of countering malign influence that poses threats to NATO member states almost on a daily basis.


At the same time, the ways of dealing with cyber and terrorist threats comprised another highlighted issue. According to the Hungarian standpoint, countering malign influence is first of all the responsibility of the member states, which also requires close exchange of information and cooperation of the participating countries.

At the meeting, the Commander US EUCOM/USAREUR reported on the exercises conducted with US participation in the Central European region last year, and also delineated the plans for this year and the next one.


The participants of the Chiefs of Defence conference received a detailed picture of the current state of the Slovak armed forces and the plans for their future development.

On the margins of the conference, there was a meeting of Command Senior Enlisted Leaders, at which Hungary was represented by CSM István Kriston, the Command Sergeant Major of the Hungarian Defence Forces. The main topics of discussion were the development of the effectiveness of the NCO system, the furthering of regional cooperation and NCO professional issues concerning the Alliance.

In closing the meeting, the participating military leaders and command senior enlisted leaders reaffirmed that the new kinds of challenges discussed at the event must be dealt with through joint efforts in the future too.


Photo: General Staff