Hardly six months before the Hungarian presidency, the most important defence policy issues of the EU are the development of the European Union’s defence industry, the Russo-Ukrainian War and the security of the Sahel – said Zsolt Kutnyánszky, MoD State Secretary for Defence Policy, Force Development and Defence Industry after the informal meeting of the EU’s defence ministers in Brussels.
Zsolt Kutnyánszky said that at the beginning of the meeting, a video message by Ukrainian defence minister Rustem Umierov was played, in which he asked the member states for further support for Ukraine. During the meeting, the representatives of several countries argued for the importance of transferring equipment in national stockpiles and further procurement of ammunition. The state secretary emphasized that Hungary sticks to its position on not transferring or selling weapons and ammunition to Ukraine. Therefore, we constructively abstain when the Council makes a decision concerning this issue.
He also said that the issues of the European Union’s European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB), as well as the establishment of European Defence Industrial Strategy (EDIS) received special attention during the meeting. In connection with this, he recalled that Hungary pays particular attention to ramping up the defence industry within the framework of the armed forces development program, with which it not only meets domestic demands but also aims to integrate into the international market, including the defence market of the European Union. He pointed out that the development of the defence industry will be among the priorities of the Hungarian EU presidency in the second half of 2024.
Another important topic of the defence ministers’ meeting was the security of the Sahel and the region of the Red Sea. Zsolt Kutnyánszky noted that the European Union pays special attention to the region, in which Hungary is also actively engaged. He recalled at the meeting that the Hungarian government provides support in place, adjusted to the local needs to preserve stability. That is why Hungary, in response to the invitation of the president of Chad, has decided to launch a support program in Chad resting on complex humanitarian, agricultural, development and defence pillars.
Press release of the Ministry of Defence