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Drones with ABV Sensors to be Developed in Central European Cooperation

Hungary Today 2024.04.26.
Hungarian Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky (M), Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner (L), and Slovak Deputy Defense Minister Martin Vojtašovič (R)

Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky held a meeting with the defense ministers of the Central European Defense Cooperation (CEDC) in Budapest on Thursday, April 25. Defense ministers from 11 countries were invited, with colleagues from the six founding countries and the Western Balkan countries joining the meeting, honvedelem.hu reports.

Speaking at a press conference following the meeting, Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said that the countries participating in the CEDC share common history, roots, and geography, and it is therefore important to engage in the most open and frank dialogue possible on the region’s priorities. He added that Hungary is interested in maintaining this dialogue and in the region maintaining the dominant role it has always played throughout history.


The CEDC, founded in 2010, aims to contribute to strengthening regional security. The CEDC was initiated by Austria and is made up of Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The rotating presidency will be held this year by Hungary.

The Hungarian Defense Minister stressed that the Western Balkan countries are characterized by fragile security, which is why it is important to support their European integration efforts. He recalled that “Hungary has been a member of the European Union for 20 years and of NATO for 25 years, so we know the importance of membership and the contribution of these international organizations to the security and prosperity of the country.

We want to promote this stability and security also in the case of the Western Balkan countries.”

The Minister highlighted that there are also military missions in the Western Balkans, such as NATO’s KFOR mission in Kosovo and the EU’s Althea mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was taken over by Major General László Sticz in January. He also noted that

preparations were underway for an academy for military training in the Western Balkans, initiated by Austria, and for the development of drones with ABV (atomic, biological, chemical) sensors.

Photo: honvedelem.hu

During the press conference, Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner stressed the need to support the Western Balkan countries at the European level, because the EU is not complete without the countries of southeastern Europe. She congratulated Bosnia and Herzegovina on the start of its accession negotiations with the EU. The Austrian Minister stressed that

regional cooperation and military-political dialogue are important for Austria and are essential for success. She added that for peace in Europe, the EU must be a strong partner for the Western Balkan countries.

Next year, Slovakia will take over CEDC’s rotating presidency. Slovak Deputy Defense Minister Martin Vojtašovič said at the press conference that Slovakia greatly appreciates the Visegrad Group cooperation (V4) and the CEDC, and that they are interested in continuing the cooperation. The important thing is not that we are all from the same political camp, but the joint efforts, the opportunities that we could not achieve alone, he stressed.

The Minister indicated that the Slovak government also supports the European integration of the Western Balkan countries. He pointed out, however, that security is at risk on “several fronts,” and that analysis, cooperation, coordination, and exchange of information, which the CEDC provides, are therefore essential.

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Via honvedelem.hu, Featured image: MTI/Hegedüs Róbert

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