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Contents of Visegrad Cooperation 1999


Contents of Visegrad Cooperation approved by the Prime Ministers' Summit Bratislava on 14th May 1999


I. Substantive Elements of the Co-operation

Foreign affairs.

  1. Towards the maintaining of the Visegrad regional profile ("image—PR"):
    consultations and issuing, as and when the need arises, of joint statements on issues of common interest, regular meetings of V4 ambassadors.
  2. Regular meetings and consultations of experts (on bi-, tri-, or quadrilateral basis):
    exchange of information on long-term strategies and concepts of foreign, security and defence policy, exchange of views on the stability and security of the Central and Eastern European region,
    • exchange of information and consultation on particular regional crises,
    • transfer of experience on the preparation for NATO membership and on the NATO accession process, possible areas and forms of co-operation to support Slovakia's ambitions for accession,
    • developing further the co-operation within the framework of EAPC and PfP. A problem complex to be given special emphasis is the role of PfP in the development of regional co-operation,
    • transfer of experience on the theme of the communication strategy and methods relating to NATO and EU (PR aimed at the public at large),
    • transfer, on a mutual basis, of experience on EU integration (exchange of experience and information on positions in preparing for accession negotiations and implementation of acquis, consultations on securing of the Pre-accession funds /SAPARD, ISPA, etc./).

Internal affairs.

  1. Co-operation in border and immigration affairs in the context of EU accession:
    consultations on Schengen agreement related issues.
  2. Harmonisation in combating illegal migration, illicit drugs transport and distribution, weapon smuggling, organised crime and terrorism:
    exchange of views in process of preparation of legislation in this area.

Education, culture, society, youth and sport.

  1. The possibility of joint fund raising for and co-operation in:
    1. Cultural programs:
      • Central European arts projects: transfrontier festivals, performances and joint exhibitions by young artists, operating creative camps, support for journalism focusing on Central European themes,
      • creating a list of existing national events, open for participation from other V4 member countries,
      • co-operation in the field of education of diplomats and civil servants, with a perspective of creating a joint educational facility (e.g. a diplomatic academy)
      • foundation of a Visegrad Prize to honour personages and all institutions who have made serious efforts to promote co-operation between the states of the Central-Eastern European region,
      • the problems of human rights and co-operation with NGOs
      • cultural heritage, protection of historic buildings and sites,
      • offering scholarships and awarding prizes for competition essays dealing with Central Europe,
      • creation of a common Visegrad homepage in Internet,
      • steps towards launching a foundation of a common TV program related to Visegrád issues in national TV stations,
      • steps towards creating a joint fund for financing joint activities in the field of education, culture and sport.
    2. Sporting and youth contacts:
      • supporting youth contacts, especially among schools and settlements,
      • exchange programmes for sports experts,
      • supporting the participation of handicapped athletes in exchange camps, conferences, joint championship

Science, technology.

  1. Promoting scientific-technological contacts, transfer of experience and preparing joint projects for participation in the EU's 5th Research and Technological Development Framework Programme and with a view to implementing regional co-operation.

Environment.

  1. Opportunities for co-operation in the field of environmental protection and risks:
    • exchange of information about long-term strategies and projects for sustainable development and other environment related issues,
    • safety issues concerning nuclear energy,
    • questions related to boundary waters and flood prevention,
    • co-ordination in construction of equipment for waste recycling,
    • creation of a system for monitoring and exchange of information on transfrontier movement of waste,
    • co-operation in preparing and creation of protected landscape in regions near the common borders,


Infrastructure.

Opportunities for the alignment of infrastructure developments, telecommunications, transport, and power generation systems:
    • xchange of information on long-term infrastructure strategies and projects
    • co-operation in the TINA (Transport Infrastructure Needs Assessment) task force, which devotes itself to appraising the transport development demands and funding needs of the Central and Eastern European countries,
    • discussions on and co-operation in diversification of energy supplies
    • to co-operate on common projects to develop trans-European network.

Cross-border co-operation.

  1. Stimulating cross-border co-operation schemes.
    Themes of the experts' consultations:
    • use of Pre-Accession Funds, information and recommendations for joint participation in the EU programmes,
    • participation in and creation of horizontal community programmes,
    • use of PHARE projects in the case of cross-border programmes, exchange of experience, drafting of joint studies.

II. The structure of the Visegrad intergovernmental co-operation

  • Prime Ministers' meetings with a coordinating chairmanship on a rotating basis (in the order Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia), mandate for one year.
    Frequency:
    once a year an official meeting in the chairing country, once a year an unofficial meeting (the first one in October 1999 in Slovakia);
    Main topics:
    state of co-operation, EU accession talks, strategic questions of Central Europe
  • Meetings of other Government members
    Venue and frequency: as and when the need arises
    Main topics: particular questions in charge of corresponding ministries
  • Meetings of State Secretaries of Foreign Affairs
    Frequency: twice a year
    Main topics: preparation of prime ministers' meetings, working out draft recommendations for the tactic and strategy to be pursued in the co-operation
  • Ambassadors' meetings—format 4x3 + authorities of the hosting country, rotating venue
    Frequency: regulary, in the chairing country at least 4 times a year
    Main topics: discussion on state of Visegrad co-operation
  • Meetings of Visegrad Co-ordinators
    Frequency: twice a year, as and when the need arises, alternately in the four countries
    Main topics: reviewing and co-ordinating the co-operation, preparation of the state secretaries' and prime ministers' meetings

It is foreseen that the Visegrad co-operation will not develop only between the governments, but also other forms of co-operation will be encouraged, such as the meetings of the heads of state, the regular communication between the parliaments, the intensive contacts between "intermediary bodies" of civil society, etc.

See also:
Annex to the Contents of Visegrad Cooperation (2002)
The Visegrad Group Presidency Program

© 2006–2017, International Visegrad Fund.
   
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