Preparing for the 2011 EU PresidencySzöveg: Draveczki-Ury Ádám | 2010. december 6. 16:21
During his visit to Budapest, Gen. Hakan Syren, Chairman, EU Military Committee was informed about the ongoing preparations for Hungary’s presidency in the European Union in 2011. The general met with Defence Minister Dr. Csaba Hende and Gen. Dr. Tibor Benkő, Chief, MoD Defence Staff.
Gen. Hakan Syren, Chairman, EU Military Committee (EUMC) arrived in Budapest for an official visit on Monday, December 6, 2010. The high-ranking guest was received with military honors in the MoD facility No. 2. Afterwards Gen. Syren proceeded to lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Heroes’ Square. In what followed, he held talks with Gen. Tibor Benkő, Chief, MoD Defence Staff in the building of the Ministry of Defence on Balaton St, after which the two military leaders held plenary talks. Defence Minister Dr. Csaba Hende received the EUMC Chairman in his study where the two also held talks.
“Gen. Syren’s visit was primarily aimed at looking into the current state of the ongoing preparations for the Hungarian EU presidency in 2011 with respect to its military aspects", Tibor Benkő told honvedelem.hu after the end of the official program. By way of example, the Chief of Defence mentioned the restructuring of the MoD Defence Staff and its effects. He said that Gen. Hakan Syren was given a detailed briefing on the role of the Hungarian Defence Forces in missions abroad, with special regard to the EUFOR ALTHEA mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The HDF’s participation in NATO-led missions was also on the agenda.
Speaking about the key military aspects of the 2011 EU presidency, Gen. Tibor Benkő said that the Comprehensive Approach, the principle of pooling and sharing and the need for strengthening the relations between NATO and the EU have been on the agenda for years. “Our system has pooling and sharing for years", the Chief of Defence noted, referring to the structure of the Multinational Land Force (MLF) that has been operating since 2001.
To give more examples, Gen. Benkő talked about the Romanian–Hungarian Peacekeeping Battalion, the Tisza Engineer Battalion and the military cooperation of the Visegrád Four countries. “For us, these tasks are not new, but of course the expectations, the requirements and the tasks may change on a daily basis and we must adapt to these changes", the Chief of Defence pointed out.
“We are going ahead to complete the tasks we have undertaken to accomplish", Gen. Tibor Benkő said in answer to a question about potential changes in the EU’s international military operations in 2011, adding that the EU must always be ready to adapt to the changing situations in Europe, and also in Africa, where the EU has a significant military presence.
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