The countries of the Visegrad Group (V4), expressing their appreciation for the European Commission's Communication on Strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy and the conclusions of the European Council of December 2006, are determined to contribute to the strengthening of the European Neighbourhood Policy.
Due to the cultural closeness and common historic experience the countries of the V4 have a deep interest in the development and prosperity of the countries in their immediate neighbourhood included in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The V4 consider the possibilities of a more effective use of the instruments of regional co-operation to provide our Eastern ENP neighbours stronger support in the implementation of their reforms and bringing them closer to the EU.
Fostering peace, stability and economic prosperity of V4 East European neighbours is a real challenge. The V4 countries are convinced that there is no better way of achieving this goal than by maintaining political and economic reforms of the countries concerned, stabilisation of the region, minimisation of security threats, and overall modernisation. These objectives may be achieved by means of strengthened political dialogue, engagement into sectoral programmes, encouraging mutual contacts between people, deepening trade relations (aiming at comprehensive Free Trade Agreements), intensified partnership in the energy sector, facilitating mobility and managing migration and by closer co-operation on foreign and security policy, in particular on the issues of regional stability. The V4 strongly support the recommendations contained in the Commission's Communication in this regard and underline the European Council conclusions of 15 June 2006 concerning the EU energy security.
The V4 countries support the objectives of the current German EU Presidency to deepen cooperation with East European neighbours, and to strive to accelerate their rapprochement to the European Union. A more vigorous and more robust ENP in the eastward direction is in the interest not only of the V4 countries, but also of the EU as a whole.
The V4 countries intend to prepare detailed proposals for reinforcement of the ENP in the coming weeks.
January 22, 2007