On Monday, 19 June, a discussion took place in Prague on the role of the Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC) in managing mass illegal migration.

The management of mass illegal migration – with special regard to the status of the Western Balkans route – topped the agenda at the defence ministerial meeting organized by the Czech presidency of the Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC). The Hungarian delegation was headed by Deputy Minister of Defence Tamás Vargha, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence.

DownloadPhoto: Radko Janata

The Czech, Austrian, Croatian, Slovak, Slovenian and Hungarian delegations discussed the Joint Action Plan that had been prepared in accordance with a decision taken at the joint meeting of the “Forum Salzburg” and CEDC interior and defence ministers in Vienna in February 2017. Among other things, the plan is aimed at establishing a crisis management coordination mechanism based on a joint situation analysis evaluating the migration pressure and the assessment of measures for preventing potential crisis situations in the framework of civil-military cooperation.

At the meeting, the participants issued a short declaration which welcomes the Joint Action Plan and calls on the interior ministers of the involved countries to finalize it in the shortest time possible. The declaration takes note of the unified situation assessment, which facilitates the quick and joint mobilization of civilian, police and military capabilities, and states that the most important task is the protection of the external borders of the EU and the elimination of the root causes of migration in the sending countries. It underlines that the CEDC member countries are willing to further enhance their cooperation and, if needed, to provide mutual assistance in the interest of managing the migration crisis. The declaration also emphasizes the importance of preserving stability in the Western Balkans.

Finally, the participants of the meeting talked about the wider context of Europe’s security situation and the next steps in strengthening the European common security and defence policy.

(Ministry of Defence)