The Visegrad Group Today
The V4 cooperation can currently be referred to as the most clearly profiled initiative in Central Europe. The backbone of this cooperation consists of mutual contacts at all levels—from the highest-level political summits to expert and diplomatic meetings, to activities of the non-governmental associations in the region, think-tanks and research bodies, cultural institutions or numerous networks of individuals.
Cooperation between the respective ministries constitutes an important part of the activities within the V4 framework, whether at the level of the ministers or in the form of joint expert teams. A number of joint projects are currently being implemented particularly in the fields of culture, environment, internal security, defence, science and education. At the same time, cooperation in the field of justice, transportation, tourism, energy or information technologies is also intensifying (for a list of meetings see Calendar
The member states of the Visegrad Group also desire to cooperate with their closest neighbours, with the reforming countries in the broader region, and with other countries, regional formations or organizations which are interested and with which specific areas of cooperation are found in the common interest and in the spirit of all-European cooperation.
The Structure of Visegrad Cooperation
Visegrad cooperation is not institutionalized in any manner. It is based solely on the principle of periodical meetings of its representatives at various levels (from the high-level meetings of prime ministers and heads of states to expert consultations). Official summits of V4 prime ministers takes place on an annual basis. Between these summits, one of the V4 countries holds presidency
, part of which is the responsibility for drafting a one-year plan of action (see the Presidency Programs
The only organization within the V4 platform is the International Visegrad Fund
. The Fund—established in 2000 with the aim of supporting the development of cooperation in culture, scientific exchange, research, education, exchange of students and development of cross-border cooperation and promotion of tourism—represents the civic dimension of the V4 cooperation. In an absolute majority of cases, the Fund provides financing to activities of non-governmental organizations and individual citizens. Apart from grant programs
, the Fund awards individual scholarships
and artist residencies
which contribute to the exchange of views in the V4 region and the neighboring countries.
The annual contributions to the Fund by the governments of the Visegrad Group countries have had an increasing tendency. The 2004 Kroměříž Summit of Prime Ministers increased the funds to the amount of €3 million per year effective from 2005, €3.2 million as of 2006, €5 million per year effective from 2007, €6 million as of 2009 and €7 million as of 2012 (see the Fund's budget breakdown
Visegrad Declaration 1991
Visegrad Declaration 2004
(Kroměříž, Czech Republic)
Contents of Visegrad Cooperation (1999)
Annex to the Contents of Visegrad Cooperation (2002)
Guidelines on the Future Areas of Visegrad Cooperation (2004)
The Bratislava Declaration (2011)