The strategic compass and geopolitical challenges


Major General Robert Brieger, President of the European Union Military Committee, delivered a lecture at the Ludovika University of Public Service on April 12.

In his introductory remarks, the Vienna-born general, former Chief of the Austrian General Staff, expressed his pleasure in reporting on the EU's military work and steps, holding various accolades, including the EU Common Security and Defense Policy Service Medal, the Austrian Armed Forces Operational Service Medal, and honorary membership in the Order of Saint George.

During his presentation, he first outlined the EU's action plan to strengthen its security and defence policy and the critical elements of the strategic compass approved in 2022. He highlighted several conflicts threatening security, such as the Russo-Ukraine war, the situation in the Middle East, and the Sahel region. Regarding actions, he emphasised the need for more robust mandates for the common security and defence policy and faster, more decisive, and flexible decision-making. He stressed the importance of the Ukrainian mission launched in record time and the enhanced 360-degree approach to crises, including those in Africa. He also underscored the importance of maritime capabilities and financial incentives. Regarding the EU's rapid deployment capability, he highlighted the importance of modified EU battle groups and customised mission capabilities. He discussed hybrid threats, cyberattacks, and foreign interventions, emphasising the importance of predicting these threats and protecting citizens. He emphasised the elements of the EU's hybrid toolbox, the role of rapid response teams, the first EU space strategy, improved maritime security, and the significance of a defence plan related to climate change. Brieger detailed the increased defence expenditures of EU member states, reaching 240 billion euros in 2022, with total defence investments totalling 58 billion euros.

The lecture also touched on the role of partnerships with third countries, short-term priorities, and ongoing military missions. For more details, you can read the article on

Text: Lilla Kovács

Photo: Dénes Szilágyi