29 January, 2013 – 10:45 to 15:00

The Visegrad Security Cooperation Workshop is a one day expert event of the Central European Policy Institute (CEPI) addressing key political and technical questions of further progress in smart defence process in the Visegrad region. It will enable key stakeholders from four countries to come up with ideas and plan long term partnerships in selected fields of defence.

Last year, CEPI launched its DAV4 (Defence Austerity in the Visegrad 4) project on defence collaboration among the Visegrad countries, which has created a solid ground for further research and advocacy activities in this field. Supported by the Visegrad ministries of foreign affairs and defence, personally endorsed by ministers Thorvald Stoltenberg and Espen Barth Eide, and reflected in the official communique from the ministerial meeting, it put smart defence implementation in the region on the agenda. The final report of the expert group provided governments with a set of recommendations to enhance smart defence collaboration. The most promising cooperation possibilities will be further analysed in the DAV4 II follow-up project.

In the first half of 2013, the DAV4 II expert group will examine possibilities how to make some of the planned V4 Battlegroup elements permanent and available for NATO after its six-moth stand-by period in 2016. It would be both, politically wise and financially efficient, to keep as much of it operational as it is possible, not only because it will require a lot of money and energy to put it together, but also because it will be the most important step forward in smart defence process in years.

The workshop organized in Bratislava in early 2013 will be an opportunity for the DAV4 II experts to meet and discuss the issue among them, and will provide them with a platform for consultations with government officials and professionals from the Visegrad countries, as well as from the EU and NATO.

Approximately 40 experts dealing with regional defence cooperation in the Visegrad region, especially with the V4 EU Battlegroup planning and its post-operational use will be invited. It includes defence professionals from the Visegrad countries, involved in the DAV4 research and advocacy project on post-battlegroup use of its elements, other members of the civilian and military part of the defence communities in the region, as well as experts from NATO and the EU.