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Joint Statement of V4 Foreign Ministerial Meeting, Budapest (July 11, 2005)

The V4 countries condemned the barbarious terrorist bomb attacks killing dozens and injuring hundreds of innocent people on London July 7th. They expressed their solidarity with the UK and its people and stressed the need for greater co-operation to prevent terrorist attacks.
The Foreign Ministerial meeting of the Visegrad Group in Budapest on the 11th of July marked the opening of the Hungarian Presidency 2005-2006 of the Visegrad Co-operation. The Ministers adopted the Hungarian Presidency Programme which sets out three priorities: bringing the Visegrad Co-operation ever closer to citizens, strengthening the cohesion within the Group and promoting the modernisation in Central Europe. These priorities are aimed at exploiting the real potential of the V4 co-operation, and at increasing the V4's contribution to the formation of the policies of the European Union. The Hungarian Presidency will pay particular attention to further deepening of the regional and sub-regional co-operation among the Visegrad countries, initiating joint economic projects as well as cultural and educational activities in order to make relations among our countries and people even closer and make them more competitive in Europe and in the world.
The Visegrad Countries believe that the EU is able to overcome the present difficulties. While stressing the importance to continue with the ratification process of the Constitutional Treaty, they welcomed the decision taken at the June European Council emphasizing the necessity to look into the specific circumstances, considerations in each Member State. They also underlined that the European Union needs early and concrete results on the financial framework for the years 2007-2013. It is in the interest of every Member State to have a predictable budget that can serve as the basis of planning. They welcomed the ambitious priorities of the British Presidency setting out to strengthen the global role and the political credibility of the EU, and to build a modern, competitive Union, ready and able to face the challenges of our globalizing world. These main objectives enjoy full support of the Visegrad countries, as well. They subscribed to the British Presidency's commitment to continue the enlargement process in line with all relevant European Council conclusions. They consider enlargement as a key factor in contributing to the common goal of building a stable, secure and prosperous Europe.
The Ministers exchanged views on the preparations of the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Regional Partnership with their counterparts in the Western Balkans, to be held in Budapest, on 11th of October 2005. Central European states may offer real partnership in sharing their experiences and discuss possible fields of co-operation between the two regions in order to bring the countries of the Western Balkans closer to the Euro-Atlantic structures while promoting reforms.
Another key element of the Hungarian V4 Presidency is to contribute to shaping and implementing the European Neighbourhood Policy. In this respect support for the reforms in Ukraine as well as other countries in the region is of special significance. The implementation of the EU - Ukraine Action Plan which will lead to deepening of the EU - Ukraine relations and further European integration of this country has crucial importance for the Visegrad Group. The V4 countries intend to discuss common assistance projects for Ukraine and coordinate their bilateral initiatives in this field, too.
The Ministers meet with the Austrian, Slovenian and Ukrainian partners and exchanged views about the future co-operation within the Regional Partnership and its relations with the Ukraine.

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