The Hungarian V4 Presidency remains committed to enhancing intra and extra-regional connectivity, serving as a stabilising presence in a European and Global context.
From July 2017 to June 2018, Hungary is holding the rotating Presidency of the Visegrad Group for the fifth time. Since its founding in 1991, the V4 has been guided by the principles of mutual trust, flexibility, and a focus on common traditions, values and interests. As a testament to the success of this approach, the importance of the Visegrad Cooperation has been growing in recent times. Over the last 26 years the Visegrad Group has been actively representing regional interests, operating within the European Union since 2004. It contributes to the prosperity and stability of the continent through regional economic performance; cooperation aimed at facilitating connectivity; support towards the neighbouring Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership regions; as well as a responsible approach to the unprecedented migration crisis.
The V4 countries constitute stability and growth in the European Union, and have the legitimate intention to contribute substantially and as equal partners toward the dialogue on the future of the EU.
Efficient regional cooperation in the V4 and V4+ framework remains essential, especially in light of the changes and challenges affecting our region, and the continent at large. Under the Hungarian Presidency, crucial issues continue to require constant V4 coordination and proactive presentation of common positions. Such issues include the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union; the ongoing debate on the future of the EU, including the social dimension which significantly impacts European competitiveness; and discussions on the EU’s post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework, Cohesion Policy, and Common Agricultural Policy. Meanwhile, the Presidency will strive to grow the Visegrad Group as a stabilising presence in the midst of external challenges; such as the migration crisis and the volatile security environment in our southern and eastern neighbourhood.
“The Hungarian Presidency focuses on areas
in which the Visegrad Cooperation can deliver
tangible results and added value based on
specific common objectives.”
In this context, the Hungarian Presidency focuses on areas in which the Visegrad Cooperation can deliver tangible results and added value based on specific common objectives in fields ranging from EU policies to global issues. It takes the following thematic structure:
1. European Visegrad
2. Regional Visegrad
3. Digital Visegrad
4. Global Visegrad
The Hungarian Presidency builds on the goals and achievements of previous V4 Presidencies. The priorities also reflect a proper balance, as necessitated by current political developments and actual needs, between tasks related to the V4’s common voice in the EU. It preserves the importance of traditional policies (Cohesion Policy and Common Agricultural Policy), cooperation with other European countries, and V4 activities related to global partners, global issues, and the further strengthening of the V4 brand.
The motto of the Hungarian Presidency – ‘V4 Connects’ – reflects the significant positive impact of the Visegrad Cooperation in connecting its four member countries in terms of politics, economy, and culture. It also alludes to the Presidency’s focus on its tasks relating to connectivity: improving energy and transport links in our broader region, and working on a well-connected, innovative region that is ready for the digital age. Equally important is the V4 Presidency’s commitment to further improving dialogue, trust, and cooperation between the V4 and other partners within the EU and global context. The V4 connects countries, governments, people, ideas, and values in an inclusive and open manner. The V4 is determined to harness the power of connectivity in the broadest possible sense in order to find common solutions to challenges affecting the Visegrad Group as part of the broader European community.
The ability to renew and adapt to new realities while preserving the basic V4 principles has always been a strength of the V4 Member States, as well as a strength of the V4 format itself. Accordingly, along with planned joint actions, the Hungarian Presidency stands ready to swiftly coordinate adequate joint V4 responses to unexpected developments.
The Hungarian Presidency supports the successful functioning of the International Visegrad Fund – the V4’s common institution working for strengthening relationships in the V4 region. The Presidency has initiated the renewal of the Fund’s mobility scholarship schemes, including providing possibilities for researchers and startups. The Presidency encourages result-oriented projects related to entrepreneurship and innovation. Another goal of the Presidency is to stimulate the creation of V4 expert networks and enhance strengthening relations between business actors and associations, based also on the experiences of the Think Visegrad – V4 Think Tank Platform.