The Visegrad region has been hit hard by the pandemic and its economic fallout, but major funds are available to support the recovery and transition to towards a greener and more digitalised economy.
The reviewed data on the share of renewable energy in the total energy consumption mean that Slovakia has reached the 2020 EU target and is even close to reaching the target for 2030. Despite this, some of the renewable energies raise concerns over environmental and health issues.
“Ideas, institutions and laws give the necessary framework to get started. How things are implemented is the acid test. It remains to be seen how it will be facilitated and supported by member states or how it may be sabotaged. I consider european institution key to protection of financial interests in European Union for rule of law, integrity and deeper integrated processes that EU desperately needs of this points”, says Professor Nikos Passas in an interview with EURACTIV.pl.
States implemented unprecedented measures restricting private life in response to the coronavirus pandemic, severely damaging entire economic sectors. In turn, governments introduced novel, high volume social and sectoral aid programs to mitigate the long-term negative effects of the crisis. The size and specifics of economic stimulus packages vary from country to country. Hungary also tried to carve its own path amidst this unprecedented crisis.
The pandemic has exposed how important it is to effectively and quickly fight against disinformation campaigns. The Czech Republic has long underestimated this problem. Now, we can see the results.
If all goes according to government´s plans, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could constitute up to 15 % of the Hungarian GDP by 2030. The multi-pillar strategy on AI is overseen by the Computational and Automatization Research Institute-led (SZTAKI) Artificial Intelligence National Laboratory (MILAB), created last year.
Visegrad countries will benefit from the Next Generation EU - the 750 bn worth stimulus post-pandemic recovery package - through its various mechanisms and facilities. Following infographic offers a breakdown of national allocations. Also, it shows to what extent the public in Visegrad countries appreciates common EU efforts in the reaction of pandemic and the (un)willingness to get vaccinated.
Czech coal mining regions are providing the whole country with heating and electricity. Meanwhile, local people cannot afford to heat their own homes.
Lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles have become one of the specialties of Polish exports. They mainly go to other EU member states. But in order to maintain the position of the EU leader and, at the same time, successfully compete with Asian producers, Poland must not only further develop its production capacity, but also produce lithium-ion batteries with a lower carbon footprint.
The process of drafting of national recovery plans under a difficult time constraints seems to be a handful for all of the Visegrad countries. The stakeholder involvement, streamlining their requests and transparency pose particular problems.
Visegrad governments should use the opportunity of the crisis for structural changes and reforms in the labour market, education and healthcare. They should also look beyond the GDP and embrace green transformation.
The attempts of China to gain influence is all the more reason to increase mutual cooperation between Germany and the Visegrad Group within our membership of the EU, says Renata Alt from German FDP in the interview with EURACTIV Slovakia.