Cooperation Between Austria and Greece to Address Illegal Migration as a Hybrid Threat

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: June 5, 2023; 23:43 ♦ (Vindobona)

The signing of the "Vienna Declaration" took place at the Ministry of Defense in Vienna. Dr. Arnold Kammel, Secretary General and Defense Policy Director of the Austrian Ministry of Defense, and Dr. Konstantinos Balomenos, Defense Policy Director of Greece, signed the declaration in the presence of the Greek Ambassador in Vienna, H.E. Catherine Koika.

Defense Policy Director Dr. Arnold Kammel (l.), Greek Defense Policy Director Dr. Konstantinos Balomenos (m.) and Greek Ambassador to Vienna H.E. Catherine Koika (r.). / Picture: © Austrian Armed Forces Photograph/Gunter Pusch

This landmark declaration addresses the instrumentalization of illegal migration as a hybrid threat and highlights the significant role of the military in combating this challenge. It is the result of intensive discussions and two landmark workshops held in Greece and Austria in 2022.

Illegal migration received special attention during the workshops, as Greece not only needs to protect its national borders but also plays a crucial role in protecting the EU's external border. During the discussions, it became clear that illegal migration is not only a security challenge, but can also be used as political leverage to exert destabilizing influences.

The bilateral workshops aimed to examine the multi-layered aspects of this issue in more detail and to discuss them comprehensively. Experts from both countries contributed their expertise and experience to develop a joint strategy to combat this hybrid threat. Cooperation and exchange of best practices between the Ministries of Defense of Greece and Austria played a crucial role in the development of the "Vienna Declaration."

The signing of this landmark declaration not only marks an important step in the joint approach against illegal migration but also strengthens the existing bilateral relations between the Ministries of Defense of Greece and Austria. Closer cooperation in combating hybrid threats and protecting borders will further strengthen security and stability in the region.

In light of the ongoing global migration flows, the signing of this declaration is a strong signal to the international community. It shows that combating illegal migration as a hybrid threat is a shared priority and that countries are ready to find solutions through cooperation and close partnerships.

The "Vienna Declaration" will now serve as a basis to implement concrete measures to address illegal migration as a hybrid threat. The joint efforts will strengthen border security, and deepen cooperation between countries.

Austrian Armed Forces