Finnish Ambassador: The biggest differences with V4 have been climate and migration issues
Finish presidency at the Council of the EU has started on July 1, ambassador of Republic of Finland to Poland claims Helsinki prepared ambitious program despite the institutions are setting up its leadership. Collaboration with V4 shall be sought at security in the Baltic Sea region and in Central-Eastern Europe, as well as in infrastructure, JUHA OTTMAN says.Read more
While the V4 are the main beneficiaries of EU subsidies, and the insufficient use of EU funds remains one of the most burning systemic issues the region is facing, the Visegrád Group is nowhere near unified on the issue. The EU’s anti-fraud agency has limited leverage, as it is up to local law enforcement authorities to investigate cases where EU funds were defrauded.
Coal phase-out is inevitable if the world wants to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The question therefore arises not whether to shift to the low-emission economy but when. And how to do that without leaving the people from coal-abundant regions behind. Visegrad Group countries still struggle with the when-question, while Poland is still on the whether-stage. Simultaneously, several regions in the V4 states pursue promising just transition projects.
After three years from the brexit referendum, the UK remains in a deadlock. The Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU have been not approved yet by the British Parliament. Meantime the European elections took place in the EU‘s Member States including the UK which is due to leave the EU by 31 October.
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”.