On December 9th, GPI Research Fellow Tomáš A. Nagy
represented our GLOBSEC Policy Institute
at Think Visegrad
roundtable entitled Security in Europe from a Visegrad viewpoint
organised by Centre for European Policy Studies
(CEPS) and EUROPEUM Institute
in Brussels. The roundtable was devoted to the future of Visegrad cooperation in European politics after Brexit.
As the security architecture of Europe has profoundly changed over the course of previous years, the V4 finds itself in a new strategic situation. The seminar aimed to discuss the national perspectives on the future of regional cooperation in light of the approaching Brexit, continued crisis in the East of Ukraine and challenging situation (political divisions, migration crisis, good governance stalemate) in the Balkans. The speakers agreed that Visegrad cooperation in defence (mainly the V4 Battlegroup) was relatively successful and there is more opportunity to be seized upon with stabilized defence spending in the entire region. On the positive note, there is a notable positive shift in Hungarian government attitude vis-a-vis NATO – possibly getting even better with less confrontative US administration under President Trump. On the negative note, there are still possible problems in further defence cooperation: as the EU-supported common defence standardization might be very divisive (especially in case of Poland), the hugely important goal of the interoperability of troops to NATO / EU missions seems to be a continuous issue with limited progress achieved so far. Plus, the EU defence policy seems to increasingly concentrate on Africa (historically low V4 interests) and the main obstacle to cooperation might come from the rise of populism in the region – since populism has a devastating impact on regional cooperation as respect for cooperative / institutional approach in problem-solving is clearly not the preferred path of action for anti-systemic political actors.