Dynamics of cooperation in the V4+Ukraine format lost pace in the last two years and Kyiv puts hopes into the recently started Slovak V4 Presidency to change it. But Ukraine should understand better how the V4 acts and what the cooperation mechanisms and partners potential are, writes Hennadiy Maksak.
The fact that Poland, the Czech Republic or Hungary are moving away from the EU, pushing themselves to its margin, is of great importance to Ukraine. After all, Kyiv would like to be as close to the united Europe as possible – Kateryna Zarembo, deputy director at the New Europe Centre tells EURACTIV.pl.
The Visegrad Group is one of the best functioning groups within the European Union. Berlin recognizes this but at the same time it protects the EU's unity. In many areas, Germany and V4 are much closer to each other today than Germany and France – Dr. Kai-Olaf Lang, a political scientist and expert in Central and Eastern Europe at the Berlin Science and Politics Foundation (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik) told EURACTIV.pl.
On migration and refugees V4 governments unfailingly speak with one voice: EU should abandon any idea of compulsory mechanism for refugees’ relocation. And they are supported by the majority of their citizens, who can now rejoice from the June European Council Summit.
The acute shortage of labour force in some sectors and regions is forcing the V4 governments, usually hostile towards any migration, to make their administrative procedures for employing foreigners less restrictive. At the same time, the ambition is also to lure back those who have left to study or work in Western Europe - so far with mixed results.
Despite being targeted by numerous hybrid efforts attempting to influence their societies, Visegrad countries do not have a consistent or coordinated policy on fake news and disinformation campaigns. While the abovementioned complex phenomena remain unchallenged in most of these states, the region is not homogeneous in terms of approaches adopted by the V4.
Havel’s warning about our most dangerous enemy not being dark forces of totalitarianism, but our own bad qualities deserve attention today - but from Europe-wide audience, writes Seán Hanley.
Although the V4 continue to be regarded in the EU as part of the economic, social and increasingly also political periphery, these countries are presented with a big opportunity due to Brexit.
Hungary and Poland clearly support the idea of more reliance on intergovernmental solutions to common problems, Slovakia, due to its Eurozone membership, is more open to the idea of further deepening through European institutions. The Czech Republic seems to be caught in the middle, writes Robert Csehi.
Despite some progress, women are still much more an object than actor of the real power politics. Conservative ideology in the region sustains barriers that formally do not exist.
China has used the international economic crisis to elbow its way towards a dominant position on the global market. Its New Silk Road is seen as an attempt to create a massive, multi-national zone of economic and political influence, including in Central Europe.