The Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union organized an informal meeting of defence policy directors on 31 January – 1 February in Stockholm. Hungary was represented at the event by Deputy State Secretary for Defence Policy László Hajnik.
As the first item on the agenda of the meeting, the participants discussed the results of the implementation of the Strategic Compass and the situation of CSDP missions in Africa. They agreed that the tasks set out in the Compass are being implemented according to schedule, and, in general, supported the further work and closer cooperation. In connection with Africa, the deteriorating security situation in Mali and Burkina Faso and the increasing presence of destabilizing, non-state actors in the region give cause for concern. The defence policy directors identified as a key task the need for adjusting the EU’s role in Africa to the geopolitical situation emerging in the wake of the war in Ukraine.
As the second item on the agenda, the defence policy directors discussed current developments of the Russo-Ukrainian War. Hungary considers avoiding the escalation of the war as a top priority, and makes contributions through bilateral frameworks, among others, in support of Ukraine.
Finally, with the participation of a representative from NATO, the defence policy directors held a debate on the EU–NATO cooperation, the eastern neighborhood and the security situation of the Western Balkans. They agreed that although understandably, the current focus is on the ongoing war in Ukraine, it is important that we should not forget the Western Balkans, where the security situation continues to be very fragile. Deputy State Secretary László Hajnik pointed out that the security of the Western Balkans is highly important to Hungary, and our country considers it indispensable to maintain a continuous international military presence in the region.