From July 2017 to June 2018, Hungary is holding the rotating Presidency of the Visegrad Group for the fifth time. The importance of the Visegrad Cooperation, based on the principles—mutual trust, flexibility, and a focus on common traditions, values and interests—guiding the V4 since its founding in 1991 has been growing recently.

Prime Ministers of the Visegrad Group (Warsaw, 19 June 2017) Photo: Szilárd Koszticsák/Hungarian News Agency (MTI)

In the previous 26 years the Visegrad Group has been actively representing regional interests, since 2004 within the European Union, while contributing to the prosperity and stability of the continent via their 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 to the dialogue on the future of the EU.

Efficient regional cooperation in the V4 and V4+ frameworks remains essential, especially in light of the changes and challenges affecting our region and the whole continent. Under the Hungarian Presidency, crucial issues such as the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, the ongoing debate on the future of the EU, including the social dimension—with significant impacts on the European competitiveness—, discussions on the EU’s post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework, Cohesion Policy and Common Agricultural Policy will require constant V4 coordination and proactive presentation of common positions. Meanwhile, the Presidency will strive for reinforcing the Visegrad Group as a stabilising factor in relation to current external challenges such as the migration crisis and the volatile security environment in our Southern and Eastern neighbourhood.

In this context, the Hungarian Presidency will focus 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, in 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, preserving the importance of traditional policies (cohesion policy and common agricultural policy), cooperation with neighbouring and other European countries, as well as 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 the four countries in terms of politics, economy and culture, while also referring to the Presidency’s focus on our tasks related to connectivity: improving energy and transport links in our broader region, and working on a well-connected, innovative region 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 globally. The V4 connects countries, governments, people, ideas and values in an inclusive and open manner. The V4 is determined to build on 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 Visegrad Countries and the V4 format. Accordingly, along with planned joint actions, the Hungarian Presidency stands ready to swiftly coordinate adequate joint V4 responses to unexpected developments.

Dear Reader, please find the Programme of the Hungarian V4 Presidency here.