Visegrad Group or V4, the collaborative association of four countries — Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia — from the Central European region, which endeavors towards a common interest within the all-European integration, organized a press conference to introduce the organization at the Czech Embassy on 25 April.
Ambassador of the Czech Republic H.E. Martin Dvorak, Ambassador of Hungary, H.E. Dr. Istvan Gyula Soos, Ambassador of Poland H.E. Pawel Lechowicz, and Ambassador of the Slovak Republic H.E. Igor Hajdusek attended and spoke at the event. In his opening statement, Slovak Ambassador Hajdusek stated that the V4 countries were united by a common desire to join the European Union and liberate themselves from communism. He mentioned that this is what led them to create a common institution that shared their customs and cultures.
He elaborated by sharing that “the term Visegrad originated from the name of a Hungarian city where a meeting between the kings of Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia in the Middle Ages, led to an agreement on cooperation in several areas”. He added that they are now re-establishing the history of the participating V4 countries, and that after successfully joining the European Union in 2004, they are now working to coordinate their efforts to support the European community. He also mentioned that the V4 countries are cooperating with each other in various economic, political and cultural fields, pointing out that the Slovak Prime Minister proposed the idea of promoting the work of V4 in a forum in October in Kuwait.
On his part, Ambassador Soos lof Hungary lauded the V4 collaboration as successful and exceptional in Europe. He stressed, “This union does not contradict the principles of the European Union, but their role has become a heavy weight in the Union as they are one of the oldest association in the European continent.”
Adding to the discussion, Ambassador Dvorak of Czech Republic, noted that the population of the V4 countries is over 65 million people, which places them in third place in Europe in terms of numbers. He pointed out that the group had set up a cash fund in 2004 to finance all projects proposed by its four member countries, and revealed that the four countries regularly meet before any European conference or summit to agree on the necessary steps and views before attending the meetings.
For his part, Polish Ambassador Lechowicz noted that there are many challenges facing the V4 countries, including the British exit from the European Union, immigration, technology development and education.
He stressed that the V4 is not a group against the European Union, but they strongly support the European Union, and aim for coordination and cooperation among them. Polish Ambassador Lechowicz also called on Kuwaitis to visit the V4-member countries for their privileged position in the European continent, and to experience the richness of multiple resources and ancient cultures, particularly as they are all within the Schengen Group.