Visegrad Four (V4) countries want to cooperate in buying security forces equipment and improve intelligence sharing within the European Union, Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček said after meeting his counterparts from the V4 and Austria.
According to Hamáček, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia also want to maintain the current level of security cooperation with the United Kingdom after Brexit.
Slovak Interior Minister Denisa Saková pointed out that the first step is to set minimum technical standards for security forces in the V4 countries. Finding common ground in this area would enable the joint purchase of security forces equipment.
Hungarian Minister Sándor Pintér added that a coordinated approach to buying police equipment would also benefit the joint operation of V4 police forces in areas related to securing the European Border and performing missions for Europe’s coast guard agency (Frontex).
The V4 Interior Ministers also discussed the consequences of Brexit in regards to EU security cooperation.
“Our goal is to maintain security cooperation with the United Kingdom at the highest level possible. Security is a matter we cannot gamble with. We cannot jeopardize the exchange of information and cooperation in combating crime,” said Hamáček.
Saková then expressed her belief that the UK will continue to provide data to the Schengen Information System, which supports police cooperation within the EU, even after Brexit.
At Thursday’s meeting, the V4 countries also reiterated their opposition to mandatory quotas for the redistribution of migrants across the EU.
V4 governments stressed again that EU countries have to deal with the migration issue together, but at the same time, the solution to this problem cannot be a point of division among the EU member states. The priority for Europe should be safeguarding the external borders of the EU.