In the past two years, Europe has seen 27 terrorist attacks, claiming the lives of 330 people and injuring 1,300 others. We know that terrorist organizations have exploited the migrant crisis and Europe’s weak border security to move in and out of the European Union, and we know specifically that perpetrators of the attacks in Paris in November 2015 also exploited the weakness. It’s no wonder that many argue reasonably that there’s a link between the EU’s lack of proper border protection and terrorism.
As a country on the EU’s frontier and at the point of entry to Schengen on the Western Balkans migration route, Hungary has a particular perspective on these security matters. It’s one of the reasons the government has made a firm commitment to increase military spending to the NATO goal of two percent of GDP.
The initiative – the biggest of its kind since the fall of the communist regime – is known as the Zrinyi 2026 program. Through Zrínyi 2026, the Hungarian Defense Forces will become the most significant in Central Europe, reinforcing our ties with NATO allies. In addition, the developments will enable Hungary to play an even more active role in Central European Defense Cooperation and in V4 as well.
“Thanks to the Hungarian Defense Forces and law enforcement agencies, Hungary is one of the safest countries in the world today,” said Minister of Defense István Simicskó speaking recently before the Parliament’s Defense and Policing Committee. He provided an overview of the current state of the Hungarian armed forces and highlighted that more than 17 thousand soldiers took part in the management of illegal migration. Currently, there are some one thousand Hungarian soldiers serving abroad, participating in missions in 14 countries on 3 continents, he said.
The Defense Minister stressed that no branch of the military would remain untouched by the modernization and improvements.
In the face of growing threats to our security over the last few years, Hungary’s security-first approach includes a genuine commitment to a stronger military. Our growing economy allows us to put the money where our mouth is and it reaps dividends in terms of a safer, stronger, more stable Hungary.