Visegrád Group (V4) defence ministers met in the Slovakian resort of Tatranská Lomnica (Tátralomnic) on 14-15 November to discuss current NATO and EU security and defence issues, as well as further opportunities for cooperation between the countries of the V4.

At Wednesday evening’s working session, Hungarian Defence Minister Dr. Tibor Benkő welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of the V4 Joint Military Logistics Support Group Headquarters (V4 JLSG HQ), which creates the foundations for the first joint capability that the countries of the Visegrád Group will be offering to NATO. “The signing of the memorandum is the first step, but a huge amount of work still waits the V4 prior to reaching full military preparedness in 2020”, the Minister said.


On the second day of the forum, the main topic of discussion was preparations for the meeting of EU defence ministers in Brussels on 19-20 November, with relation to which the Minister stressed that there is a great need to develop cooperation between NATO and the European Union, and to avoid needless duplications. “Particular attention must also be paid to fulfilling the Wales commitments, and to maintaining the balance between the handling of eastern and southern challenges”, he added.

Dr. Benkő informed his colleagues of the fact that Hungary’s NATO capability targets will be met within the framework of the “Zrinyi 2026” long-term military development programme, and that Hungary is 100 percent filling its relative NATO posts and will continue to do so in future.


At the press conference following the meeting, the defence ministers unanimously declared that cooperation between the countries of the V4 not only reinforces the Visegrád Group countries, but also NATO and the European Union. From 2019, Hungary will be spending over 20 percent of its defence budget on modernisation, and will be maintaining its international peacekeeping contribution of over 1000 people, which focuses on NATO operations and the Western Balkans.


As a result of the meeting, the V4 defence ministers unanimously welcomed Croatia’s intent to join the V4 EU battle group that will take up its duties in the second half of 2019. The countries of the V4 agreed that NATO must pay suitable attention to challenges arriving from the south. Accordingly, Hungary is supporting all initiatives that reinforce the fight against terrorism and mass migration. With relation to the Brexit negotiations, the Hungarian Defence Minister declared that Britain’s exit must not have a negative affect on military cooperation, and accordingly Hungary is supporting the convening of a defence minister-level meeting within a V4+United Kingdom format.

(Ministry of Defence)