Visegrádský salón | Visegrádi szalon | Salón wyszehradzki | Vyšehradský salón
The series of discussions Visegrad Parlour has been going on since January 2007, following an initiative by the Palisády/Védcölöp Foundation, in cooperation with the Hungarian, Czech and Polish Cultural Institutes in Bratislava.
The aim of these discussions was to create a forum for experts, intellectuals and the general public in the Visegrad countries, in order to intensify the feeling of Central Europeanism, the belonging to the common neighbourhood. The last 17 years have been characterized by restructuralization of the democratic institutions and legal systems of our four countries, seeking and finding working models and their practical application. This has been carried out with more or less success.
Our idea was that, after seventeen years it is worth to stop for a while to look into the degree of success with solving problems in these countries, to examine the consequences of decisions made and legislation adopted in the 1990s, what could or should have been done differently, and which Visegrad country has found the optimal solution in the specific areas.
We have invited experts to discuss problems that are topical issues that have yet to be solved in these four countries or the solution implemented have not yet shown all its consequences. Participants of these discussions had been important decision-makers in their respective countries in the mentioned period of time. They had been working at high-ranking positions, drafting of laws and regulations, they know the ideas behind decisions made then and those being made now, and they are familiar with all the arguments for and against the adopted solutions.
The scenario of the discussions was according to the above: the invited experts drew a quick outline of the given problem, its beginning and its background summarizing the discussions held before the decision made. After learning about the different approaches and solutions, they tried to find currently suitable alternatives, regarding the possible consequences. We have chosen and approached the experts invited with the help of our partner institutions. Moderators of the events have in each case been chosen and invited by the hosting institution--one of the three cultural institutes in Bratislava. In most cases, it was one of the experts working for IVO, the Institute for Public Affairs
We hope that the Visegrad Discussion Papers, containing the most interesting debates will serve as interesting read also for those who could not be present at these discussions in person. When editing the transcripts of the debates—whenever stylistic considerations allowed it—we tried to reproduce the particularities of the live debate to give you a more realistic description of the atmosphere of the discussions.
We have come to an end of a successful series that has proven that the notion of spiritual closeness can not only be enhanced by mutual traditions and history but also by the similarity of our contemporary societal and cultural issues.
Editor-in-Chief: Katalin Juhász (Hungarian Cultural Institute, Bratislava)
Readers: Krisztina Kós, Péter Krasztev, Galina Sándor
Translations: Zora Ličková, Zsuzsanna Koszár, Katarína Juhászová, Lajos Szikhard, Anna Antal, Zorán Ardamica, Marta Miara, Katarína Sokolová