Slovakia asks Czechia to revive Visegrad to coordinate on migration, EU budget

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico asked his Czech counterpart Petr Fiala to revive the Visegrad Four group (comprised of Czechia, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary) to coordinate on migration and the EU’s multiannual financial framework.

Slovakia’s desire to revive the Visegrad Four (V4) was announced by the new Slovakian Foreign Minister Juraj Blanár in Prague on Monday.

“The prime minister of the Slovak Republic, Robert Fico, sent a letter to Prime Minister Fiala, in which he named the uniqueness of the V4 and asked that we revive the V4 activities and, if possible, hold a meeting as soon as possible on the topics that unite us and where consensus is needed,” Blanár said during Monday’s press conference.

According to Blanár, V4 should launch discussions on the EU’s multiannual financial framework and the migration pact.

The Visegrad Group was established in the 1990s when the countries helped each other to join the EU and NATO. This informal regional cooperation found its next focus in 2015 when they fought against mandatory migrant relocations. Another promising topic for V4 was the EU budget for 2021-2027. But after that, the cooperation has waned.

The current Czech government does not give the V4 such priority, which was also true for the former Slovak government. However, the new Slovak cabinet wants to breathe new life into cooperation.

The Czech Republic currently holds the V4 presidency and will soon have a meeting of the presidents of the four countries in Prague. However, further meetings, for example, at the ministerial level, are still in question.

“I am ready to convene a V4 ministerial at the moment when it is representative so that we meet not just declaratively but so that we can make real policy in Central Europe, which is exactly for what the V4 serves,” commented Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský on the V4 activity under the Czech presidency.

However, Lipavský acknowledged that issues should be tackled in the region – including illegal migration. “I think we also need to talk about the situation in Ukraine,” Lipavský said.

Ukraine and Russia are the dividing lines between the V4 countries – Hungary often blocks European aid to Ukraine and maintains relations with Russia. The new Slovak government is now taking a similar position. Poland and Czechia, on the other hand, are strongly pro-Ukraine.

Lipavský points out that besides the Visegrad Group, there is another informal grouping – the so-called Slavkov format – which includes Czechia, Slovakia and Austria.

Source

Recent posts

See All
  • Hans Weber
  • April 16, 2024

Britské velvyslanectví v Praze – British Embassy Prague

  • Hans Weber
  • April 16, 2024

Ambasada României în Republica Cehă

  • Hans Weber
  • April 16, 2024

Embassy of Mongolia to the Czech Republic

Prague Forum Membership

Join us

Be part of building bridges and channels to engage all the international key voices and decision makers living in the Czech Republic.

Become a member

Prague Forum Membership

Join us

    Close