Visegrad Four countries' presidents meet at Lany chateau |

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Visegrad Four countries' presidents meet at Lany chateau

Visegrad Four countries' presidents meet at Lany chateau

The presidents of the Visegrad Four (V4) countries, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, met at a two-day summit to debate the V4 cooperation at the Lany chateau presidential summer residence near Prague yesterday.

Polish President Andrzej Duda and his Hungarian and Slovak counterparts, Janos Ader and Zuzana Caputova, gradually arrived in Lany where Czech President Milos Zeman welcomed them. Then they all attended a welcome ceremony with military honours and national anthems outside the chateau.

The two-day summit will continue on Thursday when the Slovenian and Serbian presidents, Borut Pahor and Aleksandar Vucic, will join the V4 heads of state.

The Visegrad Four presidents were to debate the V4 ambitions in a new balance of force in the EU after Brexit. They were also to seek opportunities for intensified cooperation and allies for particular goals.

The summit website also wrote that the presidents would talk about the multiannual EU budget framework for 2021-2027 and the state of transport infrastructure projects.

No public appearance was scheduled at the summit today. All six presidents will present their statement for media at the end of the summit on Thursday.

During the talks on the EU budget, the Czech Republic has stressed that the volume of finances for the cohesion policy, drawn mainly by the EU Eastern part countries, should not decrease.

On Thursday, the debate at the Lany summit of the V4, Slovenian and Serbian presidents will focus on the perspectives of the EU enlargement by the Western Balkans countries as well as the EU accession talks with Serbia.

The Czech Republic has long supported the opening of new chapters in the accession talks and the integration of Serbia as well as Albania and North Macedonia into the EU.

Caputova wrote on social media today that the V4 countries must try looking for allies that can help promoting their national and regional goals. "If we manage to be constructive, others will also be more open to accommodating our priorities," she wrote.

Caputova added that she thinks the ongoing tendency to divide the EU into its eastern and western parts, or its older and newer members, is a result of the countries not knowing each other enough. To solve this division, she proposed that countries should talk to each other more and learn how to cooperate.

She said she arrived at Lany with a message stating the V4 countries should strive to continuously come up with a positive agenda that can surpass the divisions within Europe.

Referring to the current summit, Polish presidential spokesman Krzysztof Szczerski said one of the V4's main aims will be a just climate policy.

In this respect, it is extraordinarily important that the increased use of non-traditional sources of energy should not result in shrinking job opportunities and that attention be paid to the social impacts, Szczerski said.

The presidential summit is part of the Czech V4 presidency, which began in July and would last until mid-2020. Prague says the main goals of its presidency are to strengthen the position of the V4 countries in the EU and NATO and the cohesion of both organisations.


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