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Programme and activities of the Czech V4 Presidency 2019/2020

 

In its V4 Presidency, the Czech Republic, under the motto „V4Reasonable Europe“, has tried to apply a rational, pragmatic and constructive approach, put emphasis on European agenda and formats and work on the broadening of the coalition potential of the V4 within the EU, with a special emphasis on the cooperation in Central Europe (inclusion of Germany, Austria) and on the support of the regions in the EU neighbourhood, on the high-political as well as on the expert level. The second half of the Presidency has been severely touched by the coronavirus pandemic therefore some of the planned activities had to be postponed or organized in a video/teleconference mode.

 

However, despite this unprecedented situation, CZ V4 PRES has managed to maintain Visegrad cooperation operative and concentrated on its main priorities in the EU agenda (Multiannual Financial Framework negotations including the future of the cohesion and CAP policy, EU energy and climatic policy with a special attention to nuclear energy, sustainable asylum and migration policy, Brexit etc), in the EU neighbourhood (support to the EU integration of the Western Balkan countries and to the pro-European orientation of the Eastern Partnership countries) and in the NATO (defence cooperation).

CZ V4 PRES has also supported the important role of the International Visegrad Fund, the only V4 institution, for the development of people-to-people relation and civil societies in the V4 and in its neighbourhood – EU, Western Balkans, EaP (celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the IVF in June 2020 and a joint declaration and videomessage of the V4 Ministers on this occasion).

In the second half of the Presidency, most meetings have concentrated on the exchange of information and coordination related to tackling the coronavirus pandemic and later to the economic and social recovery.

From the point of view of the MFA CR, the most important innovative achievements of CZ V4 PRES have been:

  1. establishment of an expert reflection group V4+Germany dedicated to the Eastern Partnership and Eastern Europe which may represent a model for the establishment of similar consultative, creative bodies with Germany and eventually other partners;

  2. enlargement of ministerial cooperation of the V4 on the expert level to a broader Central European format – systematic involvement of Germany, Austria, Slovenia, in the EU agenda as well as in the crisis/post-crisis management of coronavirus pandemic;

  3. launch of a special, extraordinary V4East Solidarity Programme in the framework of the International Visegrad Fund – CZ is not a proponent of increasing the budget of the IVF, but of the possibility to use its available resources nd eventual reserves flexibly, in case of a crisis and of an urgent need, in the areas of our joint interest (250.000 EUR for 6 EaP countries aimed at the mitigation of the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, swift and non-bureaucratic procedures, inclusion of V4 Embassies in the region to the identification of the projects

Activities of the CZ V4 PRES

CZ V4 PRES has organized the traditional summit on the level of the Presidents of V4 countries enriched by the presence of Serbian and Slovenian Presidents (2-3/10/2019, Lány).

On the level of Prime Ministers, besides the traditional coordination before the European Council, several summits also with other EU partners took place: on 12/9/2019 the historically first V4+WB6 Summit of Prime Ministers in Prague, on 5/11/2019 a V4 PM´s meeting on the margin of the cohesion summit in Prague, on 16/1/2020 V4+AT summit with Chancellor Kurz, on 4/3/2020 an extraordinary V4 summit on the coronavirus pandemic, on 19/5/2020 a VTC summit V4+DE with Chancellor Merkel and on 11/6/2020 the final V4 PM´s summit in Lednice, dedicated to the coordination on the MFF and coronavirus recovery in the EU, before the European Council.

On the level of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, there have been the initial V4 only Ministers´ meeting in Prague on 2/12/2019, then V4+Benelux meeting on the margin of FAC in Bruxelles on 8/12/2019 (a joint V4+Benelux Ministers declaration), V4+WB6+HR+SI+AT+EC Ministerial Meeting (with the participation of the Directors of the International Visegrad Fund and Western Balkans Fund and a signature of the Memorandum on the continuation of the cooperation between the IVF and WBF + a joint V4 Ministers declaration supporting the WB EU integration process) on 29/2/2020 in Prague, VTC V4+DE Ministers meeting (priorities of DE EU PRES in the EU external relations, a joint V4+DE Ministers´s declaration) on 13/3/2020, VTC of V4 Ministers on EaP (instead of originally planned V4+EaP Ministerial which had to be postponed to this autumn, to PL V4 PRES; a common V4 declaration issued and a new programme V4East Solidarity to help tackling the consequences of coronavirus pandemic in the EaP countries under the IVF in the amount of 250.000 EUR approved) on 8/4/2020, VTC of V4+NB8 Ministers on EU internal and external priorities in the „post/covid-world“ on 3/6/2020, a VTC of V4+TR Ministers on the covid, V4 and EU-TR cooperation including migration on 19/6/2020.

Also sectoral consultation and cooperation has continued and practically all the line Ministries have realized their Ministerial and expert meetings, sometimes enlarged by the presence of other EU partners.

On the parliamentary level, the key  event was a high-level meeting of Presidents of V4 parliaments on the occasion of the anniversary of 30 years from the fall of communist regimes in the Central and Eastern Europe in Prague on 17 – 18/11/2019.

In the annex you will find the programme of the CZ V4 PRES 2019 - 2020 and a detailed overview of its activities.

attachments

Programme CZ V4 PRES 2019 - 2020 679 kB pdf (Adobe Acrobat document) Aug 14, 2020

CZ V4 PRES 2019 - 2020 activities 469 kB pdf (Adobe Acrobat document) Aug 14, 2020

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