Ladies and gentlemen,
Last year, the Czech Republic was ranked as the sixth safest country in the world according to the Global Peace Index criteria. Strengthening security is one of the six strategic directions of the Government of the Czech Republic which will strive to maintain such a positive ranking in the years ahead.
The content and focus of the Future Forces Forum 2018, taking place under my auspices, can foster the implementation of the Government Programme and at the same time, it may serve as a global linkage of defence and security networks, with a significant international outreach. As it is attended regularly by a high number of foreign security experts and entities, it is gaining a growing prestige within the national as well as foreign security community.
The Forum is primarily focused on practical support of the Czech Government´s interests, mainly in areas such as export-oriented capabilities of the Czech defence industry, export-oriented capabilities of Czech science, research and education, efficiency of defence and security spending, prevention measures in the field of defence and security, preparation and training of Czech citizens for emergency situations, fostering the investment potential in the area of defence and security in the territory of the Czech Republic and support for regional security.
At the 2014 NATO Summit in Wales, the Czech Republic endorsed the commitment to increase its military spending to 2% of the gross domestic product. For the Czech Government, this means not only to step up the expenditure on defence and security, but also to spend those resources efficiently and economically on development of the existing and future capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic. Our commitment to achieving the 51 adopted goals for building capabilities as part of the NATO Defence Planning is the main priority for us. The goals include building a medium weight brigade, air defence or cyber defence capabilities. Our country must be a reliable and trustworthy member of the international community in the area of security.
The Forum can contribute to defining new trends in the development of the operational and security environment, which will reflect in the capability requirements and their practical implementation. Providing a new perspective on the current problems and searching for innovative approaches to addressing military and non-military threats such as hybrid warfare, cyber attacks, illegal migration and lack of strategic resources are the conclusions and outputs I expect from your discussions. I believe that the conclusions from your meeting will help improve the readiness of the national security system to respond to crises, and will help enhance and give a correct direction to building new capabilities of the armed forces during the update process of the Concept of the Build-up of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic.
I take a very positive view of the overall concept of the project that emphasises the necessity to comprehensively address the current threats such as terrorism, hybrid warfare or cyber attacks as well as future threats that may include extensive blackouts, lack of raw materials or disturbances to the European security order. The boundaries between the various domains are blurring and the need for proactive approach, prevention and cooperation among all components of the defence, security and rescue integrated system is coming to the forefront.
It is beneficial that the topics to be discussed at the Forum reflect the main objectives of the Government Programme for this period in areas of support of the Czech defence industry, readiness of the population to respond to crisis situations, or prevention in the area of defence and security.
Defence and security have been discussed for a long time but practical steps must be taken: purchasing new military equipment and investing in personnel in line with the Concept of the Build-up of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic, implementing the assigned capability building targets which we committed to in 2017 as part of the NATO Defence Planning, responding to new threats through updating and improving the national system of crisis management, improving the IRS capabilities and, enhancing the level of coordination - through crisis management training- of all components of the national security system ensuring our internal security.
I believe that your active participation and exchange of personal experience will contribute to make this year's, already thirteenth Future Forces Forum successful. The significant participation of foreign and domestic experts may produce new contacts that will enable a deeper discussion on new threats inside the whole security and defence community.
Andrej Babiš, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic