On 15 December 2021, the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Croatia Mr Mario Banožić hosted the annual CEDC Defence Ministerial Meeting, marking the end of the Croatian Chairmanship. Due to COVID restrictions, CEDC ministers gathered virtually.
The host reflected on the achievements of the Croatian Chairmanship. Welcoming the continuous cooperation and maintaining dialogue between Central and Southeast European countries, minister Banožić stressed how hybrid influences urge for wider and deeper mutual cooperation in order to ensure long term stability, security and progress on the path to Euro-Atlantic integrations.
He referred to the results of the two workshops held during the year, “Combating fake news and disinformation campaigns”, which enabled a wider regional dialogue on countering proliferation of fake news and disinformation.
Mr Banožić also reflected on the Military Mobility Workshop, whose conclusions provided an additional impulse towards overcoming the remaining infrastructural, legal and regulatory impediments for military mobility among the CEDC states.
He also expressed satisfaction with regard to this year’s TTX COOPSEC 21 which was envisioned as a first step towards establishing wider regional cooperation in the area of disaster management.
During the first session, held in CEDC + Western Balkans format, delegations exchanged views on strengthening partnership with the Southeast European countries with the aim of advancing Euro-Atlantic processes, taking into consideration the possibilities offered by the new EU initiatives and tools intended to deepen cooperation with the SEE countries.
In the second session, CEDC countries’ representatives discussed the finalization of the Strategic Compass, the document that aims to provide a clear political guidance on the position of the EU with regard to defence and security matters, and enhance the role of the EU as a global provider of security.
The meeting was concluded with the adoption of the joint declaration by the CEDC heads of delegations expressing the commitment to the CEDC cooperation.