The Republic of Croatia hosted a high-level meeting of defence policy directors of the Central European Defence Cooperation and the of southeast Europe countries on 19 April 2021.
The first meeting of the defence policy directors of the Central European Defence Cooperation in the year of Croatian chairmanship was held via a video-conference on 19 April 2021, chaired by the Croatian Defence Policy Director Dunja Bujan.
The meeting was attended by the Defence Policy directors and senior representatives of the CEDC member countries (Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland and senior representatives of southeast Europe countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo and of North Macedonia).
The meeting was opened by the Defence Policy Director Dunja Bujan, who presented the priorities of the Croatian CEDC chairmanship, hat are closely related to the conclusions of the Zagreb Summit of the EU and Western Balkans in May 2020, especially with regard to increasing the resilience of the region to current security challenges arising from misinformation and other hybrid activities.
The Republic of Croatia took over the annual chairmanship from the Republic of Slovenia as of 1 January 2021, during which time it will host a number of activities and workshops aimed at strengthening the capacities of response to misinformation campaigns and false news, which have intensified after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The participants welcomed the programme of the Croatian chairmanship and the continued dialogue and strengthening of the partnership between the CEDC and southeast European countries, and also emphasised the need for continued reforms in order to step up the enlargement of the EU and of the continued cooperation in combating the common security threats.
“The countries of Southeast Europe are our allies and partners and not just the objects of the enlargement process. Today’s meeting and the future ones to be held during the Croatian chairmanship constitute an important step towards the common European and Euro-Atlantic future”, said the Croatian Defence Policy Director Dunja Bujan.
The member countries representatives exchanged views on new security and defence initiatives of the EU, with the emphasis on the Strategic Compass and the European Defence Fund, which opens numerous opportunities for intensified cooperation of defence industries of central European countries.
The Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC) is a regional security and defence initiative, incepted in 2010 to gather the central European countries (Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, with Poland attending as observer).