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What is the Role of the Visegrád Four in Europe?

Highlevel representatives of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia participated in the first ZHAW International Business Podium event in Winterthur.

The discussion about alliances within the European Union is often dominated by the cooperation – or lack thereof – between Germany and France. However, the central and eastern European states that joined the EU in 2004 namely Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, are another important group in Europe.

On 30 September, H.E. István Nagy, Ambassador of Hungary, H.E. Jakub Kumoch, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland, H.E. Kateřina Fialková, Ambassador of the Czech Republic, and Dr. Linda Kapustová Helbichová, Chargé d’affaires at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic, joined students in Winterthur to explain their views on the Visegrád Four, also known as the V4.

The event focused on highlighting the agenda and common positions of the V4 on topics such as support for the Western Balkans to join the EU or the expectation that important decisions in Brussels should take into consideration the views of all 28 member states. At the same time, V4 is only an informal forum, unlike for the Visegrád Fund to which Switzerland also contributes.

When asked about the current proposal for the new EU Commission, the representatives of the four states did not voice any concerns. The event helped to shed light on the perspectives of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia on the European Union. The representatives emphasized that they do not want to be seen as eurosceptics, but rather as proud members of the EU that expect that their common and individual views on the EU are taken seriously in Brussels and respected within a union of diverse members.

The new players in Brussels will be the topic of the next public ZHAW International Business Podium to be held on 11 November at 5.30 pm, in Winterthur.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Florian Keller, International Management Institute