V4 prime ministers meet at Visegrad
Hungary hosted the Visegrad summit this past week. The Visegrad group - Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, got together 15 years ago as all four countries were making the transition from communism to democracy. So, at this summit in the southern town of Visegrad, the leaders of the four countries reviewed their achievements and decided to press on with their cooperation in the future.
"Certainly, and it was a view that was generally shared by all the four prime ministers today. Of course, the aim of the cooperation was different fifteen years ago than it is now. It was initiated because all three, and now four, countries [Czechoslovakia split into two countries in 1993] wanted to join the European Union and NATO. The promotion of their integration into these structures was the primary aim of the cooperation. By 2004, all four countries had become members of both NATO and EU and then the cooperation got a new meaning, which is to represent the common interests of the four countries in the two organisations. The four countries have been doing that quite successfully on major issues."
We see that the cooperation did have a past but does it have a future?
"Certainly, as I said, in the EU but also in NATO there is a future for regional organisations. No country can be successful in promoting its national interests if it is alone. So, countries are bound to form coalitions and in the four countries, because of their geographic location and because of their history and common cultural heritage, they have many common interests and common problems. They can represent their common interest in these organisations more successfully if they worked together than if they worked separately."
What exactly was on the agenda of today's meeting?