On July 1, Poland took over the one-year presidency of the Visegrad Group (V4), Central Europe’s chief organization of regional cooperation consisting of the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.
25 years after the establishment of the V4, which set itself the goal of making our countries part of Euro-Atlantic structures, Warsaw feels special responsibility for the future of the European Union, an institution which guarantees development and prosperity for the entire continent. The year-long Polish presidency will seek to make the V4’s voice heard in the Union, helping to work out good solutions for Europe and ensuring greater support of the Europeans for integration processes.
Given the nature of the challenges facing the EU beyond the Community, Visegrad cooperation could become an effective inspiration for collaboration among countries from the whole Central and Eastern European region, encompassing the area between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas. During its presidency Poland shall be deepening V4 cooperation in this field. It will cover political cooperation, but also working together to make the region more close-knit by building energy and transport infrastructure.
A stable and prosperous Europe is a safe Europe. Even as we continue efforts of the previous presidencies, we shall focus on enhancing cooperation for the sake of common security. Under the Polish presidency, the V4 will be actively working to implement decisions made at the NATO summit in Warsaw.
The Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary have a common historical legacy, and cherish common values arising from Europe’s common roots. The Visegrad Group must be close to the people. That is why we will take the initiative to forge closer ties between our societies, as well as promote and propagate the cultures of Central European countries through educational and research projects.
Over the past quarter century the V4 countries have developed close cooperation that draws on common values and interests. The V4 has become a well-known brand — a symbol of a successful initiative for pursuing joint interests, and a key element of cooperation in Central Europe. The Polish presidency will seek to further consolidate the Visegrad Group’s standing.
By Grzegorz Olszak
Ambassador of the Republic of Poland