Hungarian defence minister welcomes plan for EU defence fund
“The European Union must work on being able to guarantee the security of its citizens”, Minister of Defence István Smicskó said on Thursday on Kossuth Radio.
The Minister was attending an informal meeting of EU defence ministers in the Maltese capital of Valetta.
In the telephone interview, he said that the development of defence capabilities is beginning to receive increasingly higher emphasis within the European Union. This is probably because European citizens feel less safe, he added, stressing that in addition to developing defence capabilities, increasing financial resources must also be concentrated on in future.
Mr. Simicskó pointed out that during the meeting is had also been determined that the EU must find new solutions for challenges from the South, terrorism, people smuggling and arms trafficking.
The meeting was also attended by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, which according to Mr. Simicskó is unusual and indicates that heavy cooperation is required between NATO and the European Union to guarantee security.
It is important for administrations to reinforce inter-governmental cooperation, he said, adding this is what would be acceptable to Hungary from a military perspective and pointing out that V4 cooperation is an excellent example of the kind of cooperation that is required.
According to the Minister, the idea that the EU should establish a so-called defence fund to facilitate military research and development through the provision of funding, is also a correct path to follow.
Mr. Simicskó also said that in the interests of handling migration the EU should come to an agreement with Libya, where the situation is currently unstable. However, it is not only important to provide funding to Libya and to reinforce the country’s security forces, but Libya’s southern border must also be reinforced and Egypt must also become involved in resolving the situation.
Photo: Gergely Botár / kormany.hu