A view on Central Europe II: Does the V4 have a future?
Photo Credit: www.mzv.cz
Since 1991 the V4 has undergone numerous tests to its survival. Yet, it survived despite multiple internal and external challenges. Moreover, the V4 countries joined the EU ten years ago while helping each other during a difficult reform and integration process. I believe the most recent test coming from the Russian-driven geopolitical earthquake is a serious but not life-threating one for V4.
After watching the performance of the V4 Prime Ministers at the recent GLOBSEC conference, several observers were shocked to see the striking difference of opinion among government leaders in responding to questions related to the Ukrainian crisis. Particularly, the positions on defense spending, energy security and sanctions for Russia articulated by the four were far from unanimous. During lobby discussions I even heard a comment from an American analyst that this may be the end of V4, all that’s left is a V1, Poland, in his view the only country with a principled position. But the V4 lives on. A few weeks later the Presidents of the V4 met in Budapest celebrating jointly the 25thAnniversary of the fall of communism in Hungary. And the V4 Presidency rotated as normal from Hungary to Slovakia on July 1.
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Pavol Demeš is a senior transatlantic fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and external adviser to the Slovak Foreign Minister.