Judging from the vantage point of the level of development of European defence policy, it is admittedly not an understatement to conclude that the European Union (EU) will not have the capacity to fully replace NATO. However, the EU and its Member States are investing more and more in shaping its common defence policy.  

Will the EU stick to predominantly inclusive (i.e. uniting) formats of cooperation, or will it push forward exclusive structures under the auspices of the “coalition of the willing”? How can countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) contribute to the success of European defence integration? What does closer European defence integration mean for Slovakia, and for the broader Central and Eastern Europe region? How could CEE most benefit from this cooperation?  

These were some of the questions raised during the second DIFF GOV City Talk, implemented in partnership with the Faculty of Political Science at the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University, which took place in Košice on 25 November.  

Author photographs: Tibor Czitó

The event, entitled, European Defence Policy: Where Is It Heading?brought together the representatives of governments, academia, and the think tank community, which made for a interdisciplinary discussion, and at the same time very lively. Speakers included the following: Gen. Pavel Macko, Defence and Security Expert, TOGETHER – Civic Democracy; Katarína Jurišová, Advisor to the State Secretary Robert Ondrejcsak, Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic; Col. Jozef Zekucia (Ret.), Director, Stratpol; Vladimír Tarasovič, Senior Research Fellow, Slovak Foreign Policy Association; Tomáš A. Nagy, Advisor to the State Secretary Robert Ondrejcsak, Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic, and Tomáš Koziak, Rector, Academia Rerum Civilium, Kutná Hora, Faculty of Political Science, Pavol Jozef Šafárik University, Košice. The panels were moderated by Martina Babíková and Martin Reguli from GLOBSEC Policy Institute. The event was attended by 60 people. 

 

Author photographs: Tibor Czitó

This City Talk was organized to facilitate open access for the public and, especially, for young people, scholars, policymakers, and other inspirational leaders who focus their work on the EU. This particular debate aimed at having a frank discussion with the public, who were given the opportunity to ask questions and also to learn more about the European defence and security policy. 

On the occasion of the event, Martin Reguli from GLOBSEC Policy Institute wrote an opinion piece on “Is Europe Really Ready for Its Own Military Force?” which was published by Fair Observer and is available here: https://www.fairobserver.com/region/europe/european-defense-force-eu-army-security-nato-news-18111/ What is more, the text was published in Slovak  „Čo stojí v ceste európskej obrane“ in SME and is available here: https://komentare.sme.sk/c/22270030/co-stoji-v-ceste-europskej-obrane.html 

Read also GLOBSEC‘ Orsolya Raczova piece on this topic „Is Europe ready to do more on security matters? Which is available here https://www.globsec.org/news/is-europe-ready-to-do-more-on-security-matters/#cZa28cGpj8HdKFgu.99  

 

This project is co-financed by Jean Monnet Activities of the EU Programme Erasmus+  

The event was livestreamed (only available in Slovak). Below you can to watch a discussion on GLOBSEC’s YouTube channel:  

Panel 1: Vision(s) of European Defence Policy 

Panel 2: Is Central and Eastern Europe ready to shape Europe Defence Policy of the future?