News & Analysis

Hungary mooted as possible venue for NATO’s Central European HQ

NATO Moldova

Hungary is on course to be the first country in Central and Eastern Europe to host a NATO headquarters after Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia sent a joint letter to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg about their plans to establish a regional military command centre, the Hungarian press has reported.

At the latest meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels, the defence ministers of Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a so-called Multinational Division Command for Central and Eastern Europe.

Speaking at the meeting on October 26, Hungarian defence minister Tibor Benkő said that the regional headquarters and a regional special operations component command (R-SOCC) would be hosted in Szolnok, central Hungary, from early 2021.

The command would be tasked with training the special operations troops of the four NATO countries.

In addition, another multinational command would be set up in Székesfehérvár for “preserving stability” and “directing military operational activities”, Mr Benkő said.

Hungary first announced to initiate a regional command in the CEE region in July after securing support from Germany.

The Hungarian media reported that NATO reacted positively to the regional initiative, since the Hungarian government is one of the few in the EU with close relations to Russia.