Dr. Gergely Németh, Deputy State Secretary for Defence Policy of the Ministry of Defence received Swedish Defence Policy Director Johan Lagerlöf on a working visit. Their meeting took place in Budapest on 28 September, in the interest of discussing in detail the tasks identified during earlier Hungarian–Swedish bilateral consultations.
On the day of the visit, State Secretary for Defence István Szabó received the Swedish defence policy director on a courtesy call in the Ministry of Defence. At the start of the discussion, the state secretary for defence thanked the Swedish side for having participated in the Kecskemét Air Show. Their brief conversation touched on the most important issues concerning the security of the Western Balkans and Afghanistan, as well as on the ongoing European peacekeeping operations in the region of Mali.
During the consultation between defence policy directors, Gergely Németh emphasized that due to its geographical location, the security and stability of the Western Balkans is a top priority for Hungary; at the same time, our country is committed to active participation in tackling the challenges threatening Europe from the south. The current global and regional instability has a negative impact on the security of our countries, and the countering of threats emanating from the east and the south requires broad international cooperation.
The defence policy directors agreed that transatlantic relations must be considered fundamental factors for the security of our continent. Regional as well as EU- and NATO-level cooperation plays a key role in tackling the challenges, and the planning processes (Strategic Compass and Strategic Concept) on different levels need to become coherent.
During the discussion, the two sides mutually informed each other about the main directions of their armed forces development plans. Speaking about our bilateral relations, they reaffirmed that our countries see each other as mutual strategic partners in the field of defence cooperation and defence policy, and are committed to maintaining and further expanding the scope of the ongoing successful cooperation. Among its main areas, they identified the coordination of standpoints on European defence policy, the exchange of lessons learned on foreign missions, and collective participation in military exercises. In the future, this cooperation may be expanded to include mutual participation in training programs and also the exchange of instructors, experts and university students.
During his program in Hungary, Johan Lagerlöf held a lecture on the priorities of Swedish security and defence policy and their historical roots at the Ludovika Campus of the National University of Public Service. His audience consisted of university students majoring in security and defence policy and of international ones, who had opportunity to personally put relevant questions to the Swedish defence policy director. Swedish Ambassador in Budapest Dag Hartelius also honored the lecture with his presence.
The two sides identified the continuation of consultation and the strengthening of cooperation as primary objectives, and the next ministerial-level discussion is scheduled for the first half of next year.