I. Substantive Elements of the Co-operation
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.
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./).
Co-operation in border and immigration affairs in the context of EU accession:
consultations on Schengen agreement related issues.
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.
The possibility of joint fund raising for and co-operation in:
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
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,
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.
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