“In each of our countries, the governments are pulling us away from the center of Europe. All the large cities reject this. In each of the four capitals progressive mayors hold power, which gives us chances for cooperation,” said Gergely Karacsony, Budapest’s new liberal mayor.
He emphasized that Poland is a state which knows best that “democracy is still threatened” after the fall of Communism 30 years ago and that he has already spoken with Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski.
Karacsony is looking to potentially bypass shortfalls in funding from his own country’s government and go straight to the EU for it, helping to drive a wedge between major cities in the Visegrad Four (V4) and their national central governments. Some officials in the EU seem to be open to the radical proposal.
The Hungarian mayor said that he had discussed funding for V4 capitals with Frans Timmermans, First Vice President of the European Commission and that the European Commission is sympathetic towards the Budapest mayor’s ideas.
Gergely Karácsony ran as the opposition candidate promising a “greener and fairer” Budapest. He won the elections on October 13 with more than 50 percent of the vote, defeating Viktor Orbán’s candidate.