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There is no NATO without the national armed forces

Text: defence.hu/MTI | Photo: Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky’s Facebook page |  11:34 April 19, 2024

NATO is the largest, most successful and really working defensive military alliance in the world, but there is no NATO without the national armed forces – stated Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky in Nyíregyháza on Thursday, 18 April.


Speaking at the cultural and recruitment event Spring Buzzing held at the University of Nyíregyháza, Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said that in the interest of safeguarding peace, Hungary has the task of building its national armed forces that show force to deter any other nation possibly threatening Hungary, and also fulfil their commitments within the Alliance.

Besides the regular personnel, the system of reserve also has a distinguished significance in this task system, and we must place its operation on the basis of territorial defence – emphasized the Minister of Defence, noting that the Hungarian Defence Forces had already started building the structure of this system several years earlier, and the measures they have taken so far make up two-thirds of this work.

We now have professional armed forces that are present with military bases in different parts of the country, and their members – well-trained troops hardened in foreign missions – are receiving the most modern NATO-compatible weapon systems within the framework of the armed forces development program. Therefore, they constitute the backbone of the Hungarian Defence Forces – said the minister. As he noted, a network of territorial defence reserve currently consisting of seven regiments has been established in parallel with the above, which covers the whole country and is made up of reservists who have lighter weaponry and complement the professional soldiers’ work.

Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky stated that for example, besides installation security duties and military police tasks, they have the essential roles of popularizing the HDF among those living in the counties of Hungary, and of showing themselves together with the fact that besides its official form, soldiering also has a special supportive form that can be performed locally.


In his speech, the Minister of Defence also mentioned that the reservists are of great value to their employers, as they can utilize their competence, discipline and preparedness in their civilian job besides homeland defence.

He added that this gives young and older Hungarians an incomparable lifetime experience, in addition to endowing those joining the territorial defence reservists with special knowledge and unique skills in their civilian life.

The minister pointed out that “now is the time to be a soldier”, because according to him, for several decades, the issue of national defence has not received so much attention from the whole society than it has now, in the time of nearer and farther military conflicts. Besides, national defence now enjoys an unprecedented degree of political support, and it also has the necessary financial resources for the development of the armed forces.

Before 2010, Hungary allocated only 0.5% of the national budget to developing its armed forces, whereas since last year, it has already been spending 2% of the annual budget for this purpose, and this figure puts Hungary in NATO’s elite – said the minister.

Speaking about the armed conflicts in the world, Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said that “these are difficult times”, and “we live in the age of dangers”, as in addition to the war that has been raging in our neighborhood for two years now, a military crisis has recently arisen in the Middle East, and in the interest of its own security, Hungary must pay attention to these escalating processes and make preparations for them.

While talking about the military past of the town in his welcome speech, Ferenc Kovács, the mayor of Nyíregyháza said that we are in a period that sees the long-standing municipal military traditions and virtues gaining in value, and national defence and the role of the Hungarian Defence Forces having become important issues.

The cultural recruitment event was jointly organized by the HDF 2nd Territorial Defence Regiment and other partner organizations at the higher educational institution of Nyíregyháza.