Visegrad countries are in need of an effective tasking and reporting system to advance their defence collaboration. The recent defence modernisation in Poland could have a positive spill-over effect on other countries in the region, should political decisions be vigorously implemented, as mentioned during yesterday’s policy debate in Bratislava, organised by the Central European Policy Institute.

The guest speakers, Marcin Terlikowski of PISM and Vít Střítecký of Charles University, as well as representatives of the Slovak foreign affairs and defence ministries, defence industry and the non-governmental sector, discussed opportunities emanating from a recently-announced major acquisition programme in Poland and from possible joint acquisition projects among Visegrad countries.

Besides setting-up procedures to interconnect political will with the work of the bureaucratic apparatus, Visegrad countries need to develop the skills of those who are responsible for implementation, such as procurement managers. Therefore, training by their more experienced peers from the most advanced European countries or adopting best practices through reciprocal posting within the region might be a feasible option, the discussants argued.

The event was organised by the Central European Policy Institute, a think-tank by the Slovak Atlantic Commission, in the framework of the Think Visegrad project supported by the International Visegrad Fund. Its output, a study on defence co-operation in the region is to be published in September.