Visegrád Battlegroup


The Visegrád Battlegroup or V4 EU Battlegroup is an EU Battlegroup led by Poland, in which the other fellow Visegrád Group countries – the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary participate. It was on standby from 1 January until 30 June 2016[1] and from 1 July until 31 December 2019.[2] It's scheduled to go on standby in the first half of 2023.[3]

Visegrád Battlegroup
V4 EU Battlegroup
Active1 January 2016 – 30 June 2016
1 July 2019 – 31 December 2019
Country Poland
 Czech Republic
 Slovakia
 Hungary
Allegiance European Union
BranchEU Battlegroup
TypeRegiment
Size3700
Part ofEuropean Union Military Staff

History


On 12 May 2011, Polish Defence Minister Bogdan Klich said that Poland will lead a new EU Battlegroup of the Visegrád Group. The decision was made at the V4 defence ministers' meeting in Levoča, Slovakia, and the battlegroup became operational and was placed on standby in the first half of 2016. The ministers also agreed that the V4 militaries should hold regular exercises under the auspices of the NATO Response Force, with the first such exercise to be held in Poland in 2013. The battlegroup included the members of V4 and Ukraine.[4]

To become a strategic success, the battlegroup experience needs to be seized upon to open the door for more permanent forms of collaboration in the region.

– DAV4 II Report (Central European Policy Institute)[5]

On 14 March 2014, a pact was signed on a joint military body within the European Union, in response to the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine. The deal involves joint military exercises, coordinated defence procurement and joint defence development of the four central European countries.[6] In the Bratislava Declaration of 9 December 2014, the V4 stated that, considering "Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine (...) V4 countries will coordinate their national positions to maximise the efforts to support Ukraine", confirming Ukraine's participation in the Visegrád Battlegroup in the first half of 2016. On Polish suggestion, the V4 agreed "to form another V4 EU Battlegroup in the second semester of 2019".[2] The V4 are considering to keep the Battlegroup as a permanent unit after 2016, which would set a precedent. The Battlegroup is deemed the 'flagship'[7] of intensified future "systemic and systematic defence planning, exercises and perhaps even procurement and maintenance"[8] amongst the V4.[5]

In November 2018 was confirmed that the V4 Battlegroup will be reinforced by Croatia in 2019.[9]

Composition and equipment


The Battlegroup in 2016 consisted of around 3,700 troops:[10][11]

Poland 1 870 main manoeuvre combat forces
Czech Republic 728 logisticians, helicopter unit, electronic combat team, medical unit
Hungary 640 combat engineers, civil-military cooperation unit
Slovakia 460 unit for protection against weapons of mass destruction
Ukraine 19

See also


References


  1. "V4 invites Ukraine to set up joint military unit". Ukrinform. Ukrainian Government. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  2. "Bratislava Declaration of the Visegrad Group Heads of Government on the Deepening V4 Defence Cooperation". Visegradgroup.eu. Visegrád Group. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  3. "Ministři obrany V4 se dohodli na vytvoření další společné evropské bojové skupiny". Lidovky.cz (in Czech). 15 November 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  4. "Вишеградський майданчик України (Visegrád playground of Ukraine)". Mirror Weekly (in Ukrainian). 13 May 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  5. Milan Šuplata; et al. (18 November 2013). "DAV4 II Report: From battlegroup to permanent structures". Central European Policy Institute. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  6. Agence France-Presse (18 March 2014). "Former Soviet satellites sign joint military pact". Defence Talk. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  7. Tomáš Weiss (4 June 2012). "Visegrád Battlegroup: A flagship that should not substitute for real defence cooperation". Visegrád Revue. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  8. Beata Balogová (8 September 2014). "Polish passion for Visegrad". The Slovak Spectator. Petit Press. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  9. "V4 EU Battlegroup will be reinforced by Croatia in 2019". Ministry of Defense of Slovak Republic. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  10. "V4 EU Battlegroup with 728 Czech troops to be on standby in 2016". Prague Monitor. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  11. "Státy V4 převzaly vojenskou pohotovost EU". Euroskop (in Czech). Retrieved 2 November 2017.