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Perspectives of Central European Multinational Defence Cooperation: A New Model?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Bence Nemeth, Tamás Csiki

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPanorama of Global Security Environment 2013
EditorsMarian Majer, Róbert Ondrejcsák
Place of PublicationBratislava
PublisherCentre for European and North Atlantic Affairs
Pages11-24
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9788097112455
PublishedDec 2013

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Abstract

The financial crisis triggered the impression among European states that the negative effects of the further decreasing defence budgets could be tackled by tighter defence cooperation especially on capability development. New initiatives have emerged both within NATO and the European Union in this regard, but interestingly, new parallel defence co-operations have also been created and old ones have been revitalized on the sub-regional level. In Central Europe, two frameworks have recently evolved in this field: on the one hand, the Visegrad Countries (V4) – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – have been cooperating on various issues since the 1990s, though the first element of their defence cooperation was born only in 2011 by initiating a V4 EU Battlegroup. On the other hand, Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia have begun collaborating within the framework of the Central European Defence Initiative (CEDI) in the fields of training, operations and capability development since 2011. By 2013 we can already observe the first projects to yield positive results in practice, underpinning the viability of this cooperation framework. The article maps these frameworks of defence cooperation and compares how they function and how successful they are in delivering viable defence cooperation programs, also comparing them to the best practices of existing successful models of cooperation, namely the Nordic Defence Cooperation. The authors argue that such flexible, de-institutionalized forms of defence cooperation as CEDI would serve better for fledgling new projects and give timely answers to current capability shortfalls than the more institutionalized, less flexible frameworks, such as the V4 Defence Cooperation.

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