Slovakia struggles to be on top of the changes the automotive sector is undergoing, including the green and digital transformation. While Slovakia scores in car production output, in innovation it lacks behind its Visegrad neighbours.
The latest Report on the State of the Rural Areas indicates a number of demographic, economic and social challenges that the rural areas in Poland currently face. Is migration to cities also one of them?
According to the Visegrad Four countries, the Commission’s Digital Services Act is necessary but Europe must avoid censorship and any other forms of violation of the right to freedom of expression. One of the most pressing topics seems to be the removal of illegal and harmful content from social platforms.
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.
Although V4 countries are rather partners than rivals for Baltics, there are some differences between both regions, such as in the case of euro, migration, democratic backsliding, security issues and approach towards Russia, said expert from the University of Tartu.
The most profound crisis facing the European Union today is the crisis of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe. Other EU crises such as the refugee crisis or the Eurozone crisis have – at least for the time being – abated, and Brexit has turned out to be more of a costly annoyance for the EU than the existential crisis many had feared. But the crisis of backsliding on the rule of law and democracy itself in some EU member states – particularly in Central and Eastern Europe – shows no signs of abating. Indeed, the situation is getting worse.
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.
The political atmosphere for the protection of rule of law and other fundamental values of the European Union appears to be in a cautious but positive change. Instead of rallying around the flag, European political groups started putting greater leverage on national member parties that are not complying with European values.
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.
The V4 ignores climate threats, attempts to extend fossil fuel burning, violates air pollution limits and undermines the development of renewable energies. Visegrad+ Renewable Energy platform has been established to turn this trend around, ADA ÁMON of E3G writes.