Croatian Deputy Defence Minister, Višnja Tafra attended the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in the defence…
Croatian Defence Minister Ante Kotromanović on 12 May met with his Austrian counterpart, Minister Gerald Kluge, who was on an official visit to the Republic of Croatia. The meeting was an occasion to reiterate the traditionally good and beneficial bilateral co-operation, rooted in common history, close and friendly ties, and to envisage the possibilities to further expand it.
The ministers exchanged views on the security situation in East and South Europe, which reflects on the two countries as well, and on the existing and plausible response of the EU to the current security threats. They also highlighted the importance of the Central European Defence Co-operation as regional initiative where both Austria and Croatia play a prominent role, and which bears considerable potential for development of joint defence capabilities and harmonisation of the standpoints of EU countries.
The co-operation of the Austrian and Croatian special forces and air forces has been praised as particularly productive.
Minister Kotromanović pledged support to Austria in taking the lead role in th Mountain training Initiative (MT)) and extended invitation to the Austrian side to send its special forces for diving training in Croatia.
The ministers addressed the upcoming meeting of the European Council on defence next month, to discuss the defence budgets, further development of the European defence industry, the partnerships within the EU and other CSDP-relevant issues.
Croatian Minister highlighted the need for a new European Security Strategy or a revised present one, in view of significantly altered security situation since its promulgation in 2003. He also stated that the European Union should address the impact of current global threats and the security environment .
The Austrian Defence Minister expressed satisfaction over the past bilateral co-operation and proposed continued joint air forces activities, with the emphasis on the upgrade of Croatian helicopter
The ministers also agreed on the need for upgraded procedures of mutual assistance related to disaster relief.