There was a time when Kiev perceived the Visegrad Group as an „advocate” of the Ukrainian case in the EU. Today, it prefers to pursue relations with them on a more bilateral basis, in an interview says Jurij Panczenko, expert of Ukrainian portal “European Pravda”.
All Visegrad Group countries declare their commitment to the enlargement of the EU and NATO, with a unanimous focus on integrating Western Balkan (WB) countries. This unanimity fades in relation to Kosovo, although according to Péter Szijjártó, a Hungarian MFA, “The more members we [the EU] have, the stronger we are”.
The fear in Berlin that the V4 acting as a blocking minority on more European policy dossiers has softened. Instead, German policy-makers and analysts are trying to identify common ground between Germany and the V4, while at the same time doing justice to existing national differences, writes Anna-Lena Kirch from the Hertie School of governance.
The French perspective on Visegrad has gone through a certain amount of evolutions since the summer of 2015, which marks a turning point in going from a relative unknown to an object of increased interest, albeit not necessarily for positive reasons.
From the Westerns’ point of view we, with the policy of open arms, expected the new members to come in and accept not only the acquis, but also to accept all visions of the EU. Then came the realization that they are not fitting in what the West was expecting, says French political analyst.
Central Europe ranks under the EU average in the market penetration of electric vehicles. But it doesn’t want to be left behind by the global trend, leaping into battery production and dreaming even bigger.
European union Member states have scrapped a Commission's plan to establish a system to tax internet giants like Google or Facebook. In a bid to break a deadlock, EU executive arm have called for a move to a qualified majority voting on tax issues. The V4 countries, however, clearly reject to kill national vetoes on tax policy. Their governments are now likely to bring in their own national digital tax laws.
As we approach the European Parliamentary elections, Eurosceptic political rhetoric in Hungary and Poland is once again rising. It is hardly surprising given the critical view the governing parties and their leaders, Viktor Orbán and Jaroslaw Kaczyński share towards the European Union and some of its policies.
Although the Visegrad Group’s members are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the collapse of communist dictatorships this year, multilevel EU procedures are ongoing against Hungary and Poland for rule of law deficiencies. According to the assessment of global democracy indexes, the quality of democratic governance fell considerably in the most eminent students of the democratic transition, while political and civil rights have also been restricted.