Back Meeting of the Defence and Security Committees of the Parliaments of the V4 countries, 4-5 December 2022, Bratislava

The National Council of the Slovak Republic, which holds the Presidency of the Visegrád Group from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023, organised a meeting for the Defence and Security Committees of the Parliaments of the V4 countries on 4-5 December 2022 in Bratislava. The event was hosted by Juraj Krúpa, Chairman of the Defence and Security Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, and attended by representatives of the relevant committees of all V4 parliamentary chambers. The Committee on Defence and Law Enforcement of the Hungarian National Assembly was represented by Lajos Kósa, Chairman and Előd Novák, Member of the Committee, while the delegations of both Houses of the Polish Parliament and the Czech Senate were led by their respective Committee Chairs, with the Czech Chamber of Deputies being represented by its Vice-Chairs.

During the meeting, discussion revolved around three topics. First, participants discussed priorities and perspectives for the security and defence cooperation within the Visegrád Group, followed by a reflection on security challenges, opportunities and risks in the context of the migration crisis on the EU’s external borders and finally an exchange on strategic communication as a tool to counter hybrid threats. Keynote speakers on agenda items included Martin Sklenár, General Director of the Defence Policy Section at the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic, Colonel Branko Kišš, First Vice-President of the Police Force of the Slovak Republic, Colonel Róbert Gucký, Director of the Bureau of Border and Foreign Police of the Presidium of the Police Force of the Slovak Republic, and Marcin Zaborowski, Policy Director for the Future of Security Programme of the GLOBSEC, and Matej Kandrík, Chief Executive Director of the Adapt Institute. Participants agreed on the importance of cooperation among Visegrád countries, with particular regard to defence and security policy, and migration. Speakers from Slovakia extended their gratitude for the protection of Slovakia’s airspace currently provided by Czechia and Poland, soon to be joined by Hungary.

In his remarks added to the discussion of the agenda items, Lajos Kósa highlighted the importance of having a strong, independent defence industry in guaranteeing the security of Visegrád countries. In his view, a cooperation among the V4 countries in the development of the defence industry would be appropriate. He stressed that Russia is clearly the aggressor in the Russo-Ukrainian War and that everyone should support the aggrieved within their means. He said that Hungary does so in the form of humanitarian aid. He also added that the pressure of illegal migration still exists. He reported on the challenges of defending the southern borders of Hungary and the ongoing security issues, and expressed his gratitude to Visegrád countries for their support to border protection. Előd Novák commented that he is for the expansion of the Schengen zone, but against the enlargement of NATO. He also voiced his opinion about NATO going beyond its scope in providing assistance to Ukraine as the country is not a member of the Organization. He criticised the United States for the views it expressed on the Russo-Ukrainian War, stressing that the United States should be prevented from exploiting Europe. Moreover, he also pointed out the need to guarantee food and energy security.

During the meeting, the heads of delegation adopted a declaration containing their common position on agenda items.

+ Photos (the National Council of the Slovak Republic)

+ Conclusions