The recovery of European economies after the coronavirus pandemic may become – thanks to national recovery plans financed by the EU funds – a prelude to catching up with climate goals. Are the Visegrad countries ready to seize the opportunity?
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.
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.