Commentary V4

Petříček: Visegrad Presidency is an opportunity

On July 1st, the Czech Republic took over the Presidency of the Visegrad Group, which provides a great opportunity to come up with proposals to address current issues both within the V4 and the European Union, and in the wider transatlantic community.

Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tomáš Petříček wrote that although, as with any topic, we may encounter contradictory views on the Visegrad Group, he firmly believes that in the case of the Czech Republic's activities in the V4, there is a common goal, i.e., to provide Czech society with safe and civilized development within the transatlantic community and the European Union.

The Czech V4 Presidency offers great opportunities to come up with proposals to address current issues both within the V4 and the European Union as well as the transatlantic community.

While preparing the V4 Presidency program, there have always been talks about keeping the Presidency realistic and capable to respond to the changing situation in the world. The main objective is to overcome barriers, both factual and mental, between regions, within the EU and between the EU and its neighborhood.

Four years ago, the main cause of the growing misunderstanding in the EU was the decline in mutual trust between the Member States. Currently, a similar phenomenon is the general loss of patience in finding common ground on global issues.

The Czech Presidency aims to overcome clashes of opinions. And that's why it will follow a path of "common sense". It is a way to keep a healthy perspective and avoid unnecessary conflicts.

However, what area does the Czech V4 Presidency want to concentrate on? There are three thematic areas. The first one, called "rational solutions", focuses on politicians within the Visegrad Group that engage in certain specific issues. Above all, it is, for instance, about EU accession talks with the Western Balkans or closer ties with the Eastern Partnership countries.

The second area is called "revolutionary technology". Its aim is based on the equal interest of all Member States to strengthen competitiveness and to find a way to secure a stable position in the area of new technologies and entrepreneurial creativity.

Finally, the third thematic area, called "dilution or reconciliation", strives for solving disputes, especially in cases in which the Visegrad Group countries exercise their right of reservations. That concerns mainly the migration issue and the reform of the common asylum system.

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