Mariusz Błaszczak, the Minister of National Defense, took part in the meeting of defense ministers of the Northern Group countries on June 6, 2018 in The Hague. The main topics of the talks of the twelve defense ministers were the security situation in the Baltic and North Atlantic region, bilateral and multilateral exercises in the Northern Group region and relations with Russia.
- Today's meeting was about cooperation between the Northern Group countries. We share a common concern for our security and cooperation. Because we cooperate very effectively, we create conditions for our countries to be safe and the people of our countries feel safe - said the head of the Defense Ministry.
According to Minister Mariusz Blaszczak, the countries of the Northern Group share a similar perception of threats:
- It is known that the main threat is Russian expansion. After the assault on Georgia and Ukraine, we all know exactly what we can expect from Russia and we are in agreement about these threats. Today we meet as part of the Northern Group, but we are talking about cooperation on a pan-European scale, on the coordination of our activities - said Minister Błaszczak.
During the meeting, a decision was made to conduct coordinated military exercises by the countries of the Northern Group as one of the answers to the challenges for the security of the region:
- Manifesting and emphasizing our community and readiness to defend is undoubtedly a deterrent to aggressors - summed up Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.
Minister Mariusz Błaszczak in The Hague also held bilateral meetings with the heads of the defense ministries of Denmark Claus Frederiksen and Lithuania Raimundas Karoblis.
The North Group is an important forum for exchanging opinions on current issues related to the state of the security environment in Europe and the development of political and military initiatives in NATO and the EU.
The Northern Group is made up of 12 Northern European countries that are NATO or EU members: Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. It was established on the initiative of Great Britain, which in November 2010 organized the first meeting of defense ministers.
Until 2017, the meetings were held irregularly. Last year, a six-month presidency was established: in the second half of each year, it rotates between the NORDEFCO countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden) due to the fact that in Autumn there are annual meetings in this format and in the first half of the year - between the other half (Poland, Baltic States, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany).