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Joint Statement of the Heads of Government of the Visegrad Group

Tále, June 24–25, 2003

1. The Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Poland and the Slovak Republic met in Tále in the Slovak Republic to review the results of the Visegrad co-operation and to discuss further Visegrad co-operation in an integrated Europe.

2. The Prime Ministers commended the results of the Slovak Presidency and took note of the Annual Report of the Slovak Presidency in the Visegrad Group (2002–2003). The Annual Report summarizes the results, which were achieved by the four countries in different fields of co-operation during the presidency of the Slovak Republic. The Prime Ministers also emphasised the fulfilment of the presidency priorities "Integration, Security, Prosperity". The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the political, economic and cultural dimensions of the co-operation at all levels.

3. The Prime Ministers exchanged views on principles and future objectives of Visegrad co-operation reflecting the new opportunities assured by the European integration of the four countries. They attached great importance to the ongoing discussion on the future of V4 co-operation. They declared their satisfaction with the activity of the working group of national co-ordinators concerning the elaboration of the guidelines for the future of the Visegrad co-operation and express their common desire to have a relevant document prepared for the next V4 summit closing the Czech Presidency in 2004.

4. The Prime Ministers appreciated the achievements of the International Visegrad Fund during its first three years of existence. Successful development of the Fund since its establishment is a result of political determination of Member States and professional administration of the Secretariat. The Prime Ministers also welcomed the fruitful results of the Visegrad Scholarship Programme during its first year of operation.

5. The Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of the Accession Treaty to the European Union on 16 April 2003 and the results of the referenda held in the four countries on EU membership. They expressed their firm conviction that the ratification process of the Accession Treaty reflects the significance of the EU enlargement for peace, stability and prosperity in Europe as well as for strengthening the global position of the Union and will be finished within the envisaged timetable. The Prime Ministers expressed their support for further enlargement of the Union.

6. The Prime Ministers underlined the importance of mutual solidarity and co-operation of the four countries throughout the past ten years for a successful accession to the European Union. They agreed that the EU membership of the four countries creates a new and unprecedented prospect for the further development of their economies and societies. The Visegrad countries are therefore willing to co-operate intensively in the areas of common interests in order to make this prospect materialised.

7. The Prime Ministers welcomed that the Accession Protocols with the future NATO member states were signed in March 2003. They look forward to successful completion of the NATO enlargement by the time of the next NATO summit and also welcome the confirmation of NATO's open door policy.

8. The Prime Ministers exchanged views with the Prime Minister of Ukraine on co-operation between the Visegrad Group and Ukraine.

9. The Slovak Republic handed over the V4 Presidency to the Czech Republic. The next official meeting of the Prime Ministers will be held in the Czech Republic in 2004.

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