Hungary's defense minister has said that NATO is “the guarantee of security”, and member states “must think together in order to come up with efficient answers” to the challenges faced.
István Simicskó, minister of Defense, made the remarks during a session of the two-day NATO Transformation Seminar in Budapest on Wednesday.
Minister Simicskó pointed out that Hungary is interested in a “fully operational and efficient NATO, which is the fundamental pillar of the security of Europe as well”. The minister stated that “we can see swift changes in the world, when it comes to security challenges…and we see very intense crises developing throughout the world. For us, establishing and guaranteeing stability is of key importance”.
The minister explained that the most difficult task is that “we must construct the security of our future today. We must come up with capabilities and answers that enable us to provide a solution for the challenges of the future, and we can only do that together”.
The minister said “the security conditions of Europe have deteriorated” significantly in the last few years. Among the problems, he mentioned the increasing number of unstable states, the problems and dangers caused by illegal mass migration, the numerous acts of terrorism in the largest cities of Europe, the fact that terrorism has become more intense throughout the world, and the crisis in Ukraine.
According to the minister, the southern and the eastern challenges must be addressed together. He added: “Every trouble is at the same time an opportunity for joint action”, which can strengthen cooperation and solidarity among the member states.
The minister also noted that Hungary supports a proposal by the new American president and secretary of defense that NATO must do even more to fight terrorism, and also agrees that the European member states must increase their defense spending.
Hungary has compiled a ten-year development plan, the “Zrínyi Plan”, which will help equip the Hungarian defense forces with capabilities that enable them to meet the new challenges. He added that the government of Hungary has also made a decision to establish a new center for defense studies before the end of this year.
The NATO Transformation Seminar is being attended by permanent representatives and military representatives to NATO of the 28 member nations, as well as security policy experts.