The Czech Republic has taken over the presidency of the Visegrád Group (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia; V4) just as it faces a number of different challenges. It will have to address the final phase of Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) negotiations, consequences of the expected Brexit, as well as long-standing issues related to security, asylum and migration.
The Czech presidency will follow up on the Slovak presidency, aimed at strengthening the Visegrád Group’s position in the EU and NATO while fostering unity and cohesion of the two organisations.
“In the case of the Czech Republic’s activities in the V4, there is a common goal. For example: to provide Czech society with safe and civilised development within the transatlantic community and the European Union,” commented the country’s minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček.
The motto of the Czech presidency will be V4 Reasonable Europe and it will focus on what the country has called the three Rs: reasonable solutions, revolutionary technologies and reconciling approaches.
Over the next year, the Czech Republic will encourage an economic and social convergence in the EU, EU enlargement to the Western Balkans and the EU Eastern Neighbourhood Policy. Furthermore, it will concentrate on support for research, development and innovation, the Digital Single Market, artificial intelligence, education and the ability of people to adapt to changes in the labour market.
It will promote cooperation in the V4+ format with the goal of expanding the V4 coalition’s potential, especially with key EU partners such as Germany, France, Austria, Benelux and the Nordic and Baltic countries. This will encompass the final stages of negotiations on thee MFF, future migration and asylum policies, regional cooperation on infrastructure connections and energy policy, especially nuclear energy.