Speaking at the jubilee celebration held on Thursday in Budapest to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hungarian Atlantic Council, Minister of Defence Dr. István Simicskó emphasized that we must do more for our security, and the transatlantic relations are a key factor in this regard.
In his speech delivered during the celebration, István Simicskó called exemplary the work done by the Board and members of the Hungarian Atlantic Council (HAC) in the last 25 years. As he explained, since the fall of communism in 1989, the HAC has greatly contributed to providing the groundwork for the transatlantic concept and its development – not only in the fields of military and security policy but also in public thinking.
As a result, the entry into the Euro-Atlantic region received solid public support, so Hungary was also able to join NATO, confirming its accession in a referendum. The minister of defence pointed out that the HAC laid the foundation for a set of scientific standards which serves Hungary’s security as well.
Talking about the future, István Simicskó underlined that military capabilities and force continue to be indispensable to guaranteeing future security. The Hungarian Defence Forces must be developed further to ensure that they are also able to respond to future security challenges.
This requires cooperation and common thinking, the minister pointed out, and went on saying that a defence technology research center will be established with the mission of collecting innovations in Hungarian and international scientific life and building a collective knowledge base.
At the same time, the minister also stated that currently there are a lot of risks and threats in every direction, but identifying them is not enough, so collective action must also be taken against them.
Achieving this goal requires development projects and more money spent on defence, the minister noted, adding that there are several programs and plans about how to reach a defence budget of 2 per cent of the GDP as quickly as possible. The minister pointed out that Hungary’s security is envisaged within the alliance of NATO.
István Simicskó spoke again about the national defence and armed forces modernization Program Zrínyi 2026, which aims at equipping the Hungarian Defence Forces in the next ten years with capabilities to be generated as responses to future security challenges.
HAC President Sylvester E. Vizi gave a welcome address at the event, which was held in the building of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Jubilee speeches were delivered by Levente Benkő, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Ambassador Tacan Ildem, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy; Fabrizio W. Luciolli, President of the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA); Zbynek Pavlacik, President of the Czech Jagello 2000 Association and Ambassador Rastislav Kacer, President of the Slovak Atlantic Commission.