In order to deepen our cooperation in the defence planning area, and to facilitate the goal of our defence planning cooperation to spend our resources better and to develop our military capabilities, it is necessary to strengthen the exchange of information regarding our defence plans. The exchange of relevant information may accelerate the exploration and exploitation of those capability areas where the participating members have comparable capability development objectives and similar timeframe for establishing or upgrading those capabilities.
NATO Capability Targets offer the most tangible opportunities to identify common interests in this context, which should, however, not restrain the participating countries from further innovation and evaluation of other forms of cooperation within the V4 framework. With this intent in mind the V4 countries have agreed upon two forms of cooperation: to regularly attend each other’s bilateral meetings and joint consultations with NATO and to conduct a regular defence planning experts’ exchange.
I. General Conditions
- The host country’s Ministry of Defence is responsible for hosting the defence planning experts and organizing the exchanges within its premises/facilities;
- The host country will make sure that all necessary conditions are in place to allow visiting experts to work with any relevant classified information of the host country;
- The sending countries will provide the copies of security clearance certificates required by the host country via their V4 defence planning cooperation points of contact to clear the incoming experts in time before the start of the exchange;
- If not agreed otherwise, costs associated with the exchanges and participation at bilateral meetings with NATO, in particular travel and accommodation costs, will be covered by the sending countries;
- Countries should not be required to send their experts to more than one V4 country at the same time. Host countries, however, are encouraged to invite experts from more than one V4 country simultaneously;
- All communication among V4 countries pertaining to exchanges of defence planning experts and participation at bilateral meetings with NATO should occur through agreed points of contact.
II. Standards of Participation in Each Other’s Bilateral Meetings and Joint Consultations with NATO
: To enhance knowledge of other V4 countries’
defence plans and of fulfilling commitments resulting for the country from NDPP (NATO Defence Planning Process)
- Defence planning experts of V4 countries have observer status during bilateral meetings and joint consultations with NATO (observer is a person who attends the meeting to note the proceedings and is not allowed to participate actively);
- Defence planning experts of V4 countries (at least the head of delegations) may attend the final session of syndicate leaders from NATO and the host country under review after the approval of the host country;
- With a goal to inform partners from the Visegrad Group, each country should send the latest drafts of NDPP documents related to Step 3 and 5 of Outline Model of NDPP to other V4 countries parallel with sending these documents to NATO. Due to their classified nature, these documents are to be sent via NSWAN network.
- Each host country is encouraged to organise a V4 meeting on the margins of the bilateral meeting in order to facilitate multinational target setting and implementation, to draw the lessons learned, and to discuss topical issues on the expert level. Alternatively, the country holding the Presidency might consider convening a meeting once the bilateral meetings for each Visegrad country have been concluded. This should be proposed and agreed before the start of the bilateral meetings for Visegrad Group countries.
- Participants may also consider applying to relevant NATO defence planning bodies for professional advice on possible areas of further cooperation among the Visegrad Group. This advice may be based on the individual and multinational Capability Targets received by the countries through the NDPP apportionment process. It would be highly beneficial if the advice of NATO reflected the areas on which a NATO-wide capability shortfall is anticipated.
III. Standards of Exchange of Defence Planning Experts
Purpose: To enhance the exchange of information and knowledge on defence planning systems of other V4 countries, exchange of experiences on processes and comparison of national defence planning systems, sharing information and comparing capability development plans and apportioned Capability Targets in order to find overlapping areas of capability development and to facilitate the implementation of multinational targets.
Mutual personnel exchange can be held on a short-term or a long-term basis.
A) Standards of short-term exchanges of defence planning experts
- Short-term exchange of defence planning experts can be carried out for a particular period. The duration of a short-term exchange depends on mutual agreement between the involved V4 countries but should not exceed in principle 5 working days;
- The host country will designate a coordinator(s) who will be in charge of the incoming experts and whose task will be the day-to-day organization and oversight of the work done as part of the exchange. The host country should also secure the necessary conditions allowing the incoming experts to conduct their work (for example: office, IT equipment);
- The content of a short-term exchange is a matter of consensus among the involved Visegrad countries. In case of a short-term exchange it is recommended to focus on one particular issue, one specific step of the defence planning process or carry out a particular task (for example: comparison of NATO capability targets, coordination of positions related to capability development and defence planning or the drafting of other important national planning documents or NDPP-related documents pertaining to Step 3 and 4);
- Finally, short-term exchange participants should prepare a report on the exchange. This report should contain the aim and evaluation of the outcome of the exchange in the area it was conducted in. Reports will be sent to all V4 countries through V4 Defence Planning Cooperation PoC network;
- Short-term exchanges with the participation of defence planning experts from more than one V4 country at the same time will be organised by the host country and their organisation remains fully in responsibility of the host country.
B) Standards of long-term exchanges or stationing of defence planning experts
V4 countries agreed that the long-term exchange of defence planning experts is a suitable tool for further strengthening their mutual cooperation. Therefore, all V4 countries support the idea of the establishment of long-term exchanges or the stationing of defence planning experts in other V4 countries in the future. Long-term exchanges could cover a whole step/phase of the host country’s defence planning process.
Considering the as of now limited experience with this form of cooperation, standards for long-term exchange of defence planning experts will be specified after gaining more experience from short-term exchanges of V4 defence planning experts.
Source: Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic