CEPI’s Security and Defence policy program launched a new project entitled Save the Defence. At the press conference in Bratislava on 29 May, CEPI’s analysts Marian Majer and Jaroslav Naď have pointed out to continuous lack of interest in issues related to defence in the last decade, which has resulted in collapsing armed forces, dependence on Russia and criticism from NATO partners. Despite the good name of Slovak troops on international missions including ISAF in Afghanistan, the Slovak defence sector has a bad international reputation. Another weak spot of the Slovak armed forces is a lack of money. Over the past five years, Slovakia’s GDP has grown by 10 percent, but the defence budget has decreased by 26 percent. Naď pointed out that other states in the vicinity of Ukraine and Russia have already declared increases in their military budgets. A further problem is the lack of modernisation of the Slovak army. There is chaos in the defence sector in terms of personnel as well. In addition to this, the Slovak military is poorly trained.

CEPI would like to convene a series of non-partisan, expert working groups involving state officials in order to produce specific solutions to 10 selected problems of the Slovak armed forces. Practical recommendations will be published after the September NATO summit in Wales.

This project is supported by the NATO Public Diplomacy Division.