In the run-up to the Warsaw Summit, planned for July 2016, the Visegrad countries are assessing their progress in meeting the goals set in Wales, and also formulating their priorities for the forthcoming negotiations. On Thursday, 29 October 2015, CEPI hosted a public debateto discuss the Visegrad countries’ priorities for the Warsaw summit. Chaired by Dániel Bartha (Centre for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy), the debate featured three speakers: Milan Šuplata (CEPI), Peter Bátor (Head of Security Policy Division, Office of the President), and Tomáš Kulda (Prague Security Studies Institute). The debate covered a wide spectrum of topics: the Visegrad countries’ perceptions of Russia, their plans for defence modernization, importance of further enlargement of NATO, and the growing role of energy issues in Europe’s security.

The opening remarks reflected on the varying degree of threat perception in the region of Central Europe, which is to large extent conditioned by geographical factors and the proximity to Russia. At the same time, the Visegrad countries share the view on the necessity of protecting the existing security architecture in Europe and subscribe to the common objectives expressed in the Readiness Action Plan. The discussants suggested that in the course of preparation for the Warsaw summit, the Visegrad countries should develop clearer roadmaps for adaptation and financing of their defence modernization. In regards to the future of NATO enlargement, the Alliance should consider not only the technical preparedness of countries aspiring to join, but also their contribution to security in Europe’s southern and south-eastern flanks. Lastly, it was emphasized that as the energy sector has become one most powerful geopolitical levers, NATO should increase its awareness of the role of energy issues in possible conflict scenarios.

The participants also discussed the new policy paper ‘Crisis in Ukraine and the V4’s Defence and Military Adaption’ prepared under the framework of the Visegrad Security Project. The project is led by the Center for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy (CEID) in partnership with the Central European Policy Institute (CEPI), The Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), and the Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI).