FINABEL, one of the most significant forums for European Land Force Commanders held its annual conference in Latvia in early April. The Hungarian Defence Forces were represented at the event by Colonel István Hajnal, Deputy Commander, HDF Land Component Command.
As the longest-standing joint European military organization, the European Army Interoperability Centre – FINABEL facilitates and promotes the interoperability of land forces through the harmonization of military concepts, doctrines and procedures. It produces recommendations, guidelines and research for army decision-makers according to the demands of its member states, in cooperation with the military organizations of the EU and NATO.
It is since 2015 that Hungary has been a member of this international organization, which has 24 member states and celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. The presidency of FINABEL was recently held by Hungary; it was handed over to Latvia by Brigadier General Dr. Péter Lippai (then inspector of the land forces) in April 2022.
The theme of the three-day Chiefs of Staff Conference held in Riga was the professional overview of the deployability and the capabilities of land forces, with special regard to the tactical and operational lessons learned from the Russo–Ukrainian War as well as the role of military concepts, doctrines and procedures and the applied technologies. Major General Ihor Palahniuk, Acting Land Force Commander of Ukraine delivered a lecture on the topic.
At the end of the professional conference, Mario Blokken, Director of the Permanent Secretariat of the Brussels-based FINABEL – European Army Interoperability Centre spoke about the workings and achievements of the organization, and informed the participants about the decisions of the leadership and the plans and tasks for 2023–2024. Furthermore, he said that given the high significance of the deployment of the land forces and the interoperability of nations as research and professional topics, the participating land force commanders had made a decision to address them as priorities in the future, and they intend to substantially increase and strengthen professional cooperation inside the organization and among the member nations. He went on speaking about the projects, areas and directions of the cooperation of European land forces to be dealt with in this year, and their venues of publication. Mario Blokken announced that the organization would be enlarged with a new member by Bulgaria’s accession, by 2024 at the latest.
The conference finished with a ceremony held on the occasion of FINABEL’s 70th anniversary, during which Latvia closed its one-year presidency tenure by handing over the presidency and its related tasks to Slovenia in the framework of a solemn ceremony.