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Spending more on East European defence will be tough

Friday, February 17, 2023


Russia’s war in neighbouring Ukraine has prompted EU member-states, and the Visegrad Four (V4: Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) in particular, to rethink their own financial commitment to NATO. However, the various consequences of that war have also hammered the V4 economies, limiting their fiscal options.


  • Slowing V4 economies this year and falling demand from European trading partners could put both fiscal revenues and defence pledges at risk.
  • A renewed Russian offensive could prompt rash military spending and economic uncertainty, hampering expenditure and revenue calculations.
  • Fiscal stress will highlight low V4 rates of EU fund absorption, due partly to delays in eligible projects.

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