While our populations are exposed to massive propaganda through alternative and social media channels, we have no idea what their opinion on security and defence issues really is. We do not know what it thinks about NATO, the role of the armed forces, the annexation of Crimea, or Russia.

The Save the defence workshop which took place on Monday, December 1, 2014 in Bratislava identified working with the public as essential for progress in the field of defence budgets and modernisation.

Besides that, intensive working relations need to be established between defence and security community, including from the NATO structures, and parliamentarians who decide on the state budgets. A special attention needs to be paid to educate young journalists on security and defence issues.

The workshop also opened the topic of defence cooperation in the Visegrad region, which has come to the point when key framework documents are adopted, but not yet implemented in the form of concrete projects.

The workshop covered in detail two areas where the Visegrad countries need not to waste their potential: defence industry cooperation, and cooperation in the field of training and education. These domains of cooperation are the subject of analysis of this year’s edition of the DAV4 project on regional defence cooperation.

The event organized by CEPI was supported by the NATO Public Diplomacy Division in the framework of the Save the Defence project. Its outcome policy brief debunking myths about Slovakia’s defence budget, as well as the DAV4 policy brief on Visegrad cooperation in the field of training and education were presented at the workshop.