Slovakia and V4
The Visegrad Group (V4) represents an informal cooperation of four Central European countries - Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. V4 is a lively and informal regional structure of four EU and NATO member states which share the same values and have a common history, culture and geography. V4 is a dynamic regional group of four EU member states that enables strengthening of coordination and consultation mechanism in order to find common positions and opinions on topical issues of foreign and European policy, regional development, economic and cultural cooperation.
In the context of the post-1989 changes, three Central European countries decided to cooperate more closely in order to enter "back to” Europe. In May 1990, a meeting of representatives of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic (ČSFR), Poland and Hungary was held in Bratislava, which created the prerequisites for their trilateral cooperation. The Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel, Polish President Lech Walesa and Hungarian Prime Minister József Antall signed the “Visegrad Declaration” on 15 February 1991 in Visegrad (Hungary) which laid a cornerstone of Visegrad cooperation. Declaration defined the following objectives: restoring of the state sovereignty, eliminating the remnants of the totalitarian system, building parliamentary democracy, creating a modern market economy and full engagement with the European political, security, economic and legal system.
After division of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic and the creation of the independent Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic in 1993, tripartite Visegrad cooperation was transformed into a Visegrad Four. The revitalization of the Visegrad Group took place in 1998. At the V4 Prime Ministers Summit in Bratislava in May 1999, the documents "Contents of Visegrad Cooperation" and "Joint Declaration of the Prime Ministers of the V4 countries" were adopted and anchored the deepening of cooperation in all areas of mutual interest and mutual support in the integration into the European and Euro-Atlantic structures. The basic objectives of the first decade of the V4 countries were fulfilled by the successful implementation of socio-economic transformation, deepening regional cooperation and their integration into NATO and the EU. The Visegrad Group has thus contributed to increasing the region's stability and deepening European integration. In May 2004, the Prime Ministers of the V4 countries adopted „The Kroměříž Declaration” where they stressed the importance of the continuation of the Visegrad cooperation in the new conditions after joining the EU and NATO and defining new V4 priorities for the next stage of its development.
The V4 regional cooperation is successfully developing. This primarily includes sectoral policies, such as economy, infrastructure, energy, digitization and innovation. The cross border cooperation and cultural aspects are also important, especially in the form of scholarship exchanges. Important areas of cooperation are the coordination of foreign policy positions and the promotion of common interests in the EU and in relation to the Third Countries or regions.
V4 cooperation is coordinated by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Visegrad Coordinators. The program is based on the program of the Presidency which is approved by the country's presidents at V4 Summits. The Visegrad Group is chaired by the Czech Republic from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.
More information about Visegrad Group can be found on the website: www.visegradgroup.eu.
Last Update Date: 19.9.2019 Create Date: 6.11.2015