On 8 February 2017, the Austrian presidency of the Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC) organized a conference in Vienna with the title “Managing Migration Challenges Together”. The meeting was attended by ministers of defence and the interior from member states of the extended CEDC+ and the extended “Forum Salzburg”.

Hungary was represented at the event by Minister of Defence Dr. István Simicskó and MoI Parliamentary State Secretary Deputy Minister Dr. Károly Kontrát.

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Together with their partners, the ministers of defence and the interior of Hungary, the Czech Republic and Austria discussed three main issues relating to the management of illegal mass migration to Europe. They exchanged ideas about how to increase the effectiveness of border protection along the Western Balkans migration route, the conceptual issues concerning hot spots outside the area of the European Union, and the returning of masses of illegal migrants to their source countries.

At the end of the working sessions, Defence Minister István Simicskó stated that “the conference has shown that the countries of the region take similar positions on the conceptual approach to managing the crisis, and express solidarity in the field of cooperation in practice. The participants agree that the developing cooperation is also useful for the European Union and contributes to the creation of effective collaboration at the European level.”

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The participants discussed some expected scenarios for the possible development of the migration crisis in 2017, and made a decision to have the police chiefs and chiefs of defence draw up a Crisis Management Action Plan until April 2017, which is also accepted in the closing statement of the conference.

(Ministry of Defence)