Current presidency

In 2022, the CEDC presidency is held by the Republic of Austria.

The Republic of Austria holds the CEDC Presidency in 2022, the third year of worldwide efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though the pandemic has had a powerful impact on our day-to-day lives, the world has not stopped turning. Developments and challenges continue to demand our attention. As we slowly return to our pre-pandemic routines, it is time to start looking ahead while also learning from experience gained during the previous years.

The 2021 CEDC Presidency of the Republic of Croatia as well as the CEDC Presidency of the Republic of Slovenia in 2020 successfully guided us through these unprecedented times. These efforts allowed the regional partnerships to thrive. Finding innovative solutions to overwhelming challenges posed in exceptional times once again proved that global challenges can only be resolved by strategic cooperation.

The efforts of the Austrian Presidency are therefore based on the accomplishments of the past eleven years. Keeping to the spirit of this successful legacy, we strive to navigate members and partners of the CEDC towards new and fruitful partnerships. The Austrian Presidency will therefore focus the CEDC’s efforts on questions of Civil-Military Cooperation, cooperation in the field of languages, the Western Balkans and the Caucasus Region and, finally, possible challenges the CEDC may have to face in the future.

Civil Military Cooperation

Civil-military cooperation has enjoyed a long and successful tradition in terms of cross-border disaster relief and timely help. Austria’s 2022 CEDC Presidency therefore has several events planned throughout the year which aim to ensure interoperability and emergency preparedness.

In line with this objective, the Emergency Response Awareness Course will be held in the first quarter of the Presidency. CEDC representatives together with representatives from Western Balkan countries will hone their skills and prepare for extreme situations. To ensure additional operational capability and cooperation, the CEDC Language Competence Platform as well as the Theresan Military Academy will support and co-host events throughout the year.

Cooperation in the field of languages

In 2019, the heads of armed forces language institutes of CEDC countries met for the first time in Vienna in order to draw up a closer cooperation in the field of language training, terminology, interpretation and translation as well as testing. The CEDC Defence Ministers subsequently set up a CEDC Language Competence Platform to facilitate closer exchange and mutual understanding in the field of languages. First steps were the development of a Border Management Glossary in twelve languages and the certification of language testers.

In 2022, the CEDC Language Competence Platform (chaired by the Austrian Armed Forces Language Institute) will focus on developing a multilingual COVID-19 Glossary, sharing experience in the field of adaptive testing and providing support in the field of interpretation and translation. CEDC language experts will also support the field training exercise EISENERZ in July 2022.

Western Balkans and Caucasus

While supporting regional common interests within the framework of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy, it is also important to enhance cooperation and resilience within the Western Balkan countries. In previous years, CEDC efforts to establish stronger ties and advance the Western Balkan countries on their way to EU accession have proven to be a great success. Austria’s CEDC Presidency therefore intends to continue the fruitful cooperation with representatives of the Western Balkan countries throughout the year. They will be invited to workshops and events as well as to the CEDC Ministerial Meeting. This extended access will provide our partners from the Western Balkans with insights and help shape the perspective of the CEDC to address future challenges.

As the endeavours to stabilise the Western Balkans region have been highly successful, Austria’s Presidency strives to establish new partnerships and foster future areas of cooperation for lasting regional stability in the Caucasus Region.

Future of the CEDC

To continue the promising cooperation between the CEDC and its partners, it is imperative to first identify future challenges and evaluate upcoming trends on a global as well as on a regional scale. Thus, a major commitment of the Austrian Presidency is to cultivate existing partnerships, utilise the expertise at the disposal of our organisation to identify future challenges, and to set goals that will guide the CEDC when confronting these challenges.

To get started on this ambitious goal, the Austrian Presidency has scheduled several workshops, which will allow the Defence Policy Directors and their staff to meet, share expertise and deliberate the way ahead. Hosting several events throughout the year with the stakeholders will guarantee that all perspectives are integrated, thereby ensuring the successful pursuit of our common goals. Supported by national research institutes, the results produced will be fused and give guidance to the CEDC’s objectives and strategies. The CEDC Ministerial Meeting held in December will be an opportunity to review the conclusions drawn throughout the year and will hopefully set the tone for the upcoming years.