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July 4th, 2017

Review of the most important V4 events between– 14 May – 30 June 2017


V4 + Romania and Bulgaria MFA Political Directors’ Consultations, 14 May 2017, Brussels

Brexit, future of Europe, the Eastern Partnership, Russia, conflict in Ukraine and migration topped the agenda of the meeting.


Visegrad Conference 2017 – The new reading spaces, 16-17 May

Expert conference was devoted to national proclamation programs and the role of public institutions in dissemination of reading. Experts have attempted to answer questions on what action should be taken at institutional level, taking into account the role of the education system, the family and the media. The role of libraries in the dissemination of reading and new models of library operations in local communities were discussed. The talks on the forms of cooperation between institutions at various levels - from international NGOs in the state, local - involved in reading promotion.

During the conference the role of new technologies in promoting reading and the related changes in contemporary culture, and about the impact of digitization on reading.


The second meeting on e-health, 17 May, Warsaw

The main goal was to exchange experiences and knowledge in the field of electronic medical documentation, interoperability in the context of medical standards implementation in documentation and IHE integration profiles.


V4 + Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia meeting on audit, 17-19 May

The meeting provided the opportunity to exchange information on the current state of play in implementation of the programmes financed by the Cohesion Policy, in particular in terms of ex-ante conditions, financial indicators, progress in performance framework. Different methods of preparation and examination of the accounts were discussed.

The special emphasis was put on the issues of control and audit. Participants exchanged information on the Commission auditors initial findings concerning the 2014-2020 programmes and shared experiences concerning cooperation with the Commission audit services. Methods of implementation and execution of “soft law” in each country were presented and the issue of “gold plating” and its causes was discussed. Representatives of the Audit Authorities took the opportunity to discuss their role in the system and regulations on proportional control. The participants presented their opinions on the system of management and control needed for the Cohesion Policy in future.


The annual meeting of the Directors General for Civil Protection, 23-24 May, Częstochowa

An annual meeting was devoted to the prevention of disasters and daily events. Participants presented national approaches and best practices for informing the public about the risks and promoting appropriate behavior, emphasizing the increasingly important role of these measures in reducing the number of deaths, injuries and economic losses. The Polish side has presented its position on risk communication and public awareness raising in the area of disasters, everyday events and threats to the health of rescuers, which will be raised during the work of the Estonian Presidency of the EU Council.

Poland has proposed the development of Visegrad cooperation in the field of civil protection with meetings at the expert level, dedicated to the subject of social protection. The idea was approved by representatives of other countries. The first meeting will take place in Poland. At the end of the meeting a cooperation declaration was signed.


Participation of V4 Foreign Ministers in the GLOBSEC conference, 26 May, Bratislava

The Ministers took part in the panel devoted to the V4’s view on the future of Europe. The panelists pointed to the Visegrad Group’s European importance and its role in the UK’s exit from the EU. Minister W. Waszczykowski stressed that the four countries must act together to sustain transatlantic cooperation and the US presence in the region.


The visit of the V4 Foreign Ministers to the International Visegrad Fund, 26 May, Bratislava

The Minister met with IVF’s Executive Director and took part in the ceremony of opening Fund’s new office. During their exchange of views, an importance of IVF has been underlined, especially when it comes to development of firm people-to-people bonds between societies of V4 countries. They took note of Fund’s effective role in supporting cultural and science projects, as well as those encouraging closer cooperation between youths.


The meeting of Foreign Ministers of the V4 + Turkey, 26 May, Bratislava

The meeting took place at the margins of the GLOSBEC conference. The parties discussed Turkey's cooperation with the European Union, situation in Syria, and Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Ministers agreed that Turkey remains one of the pillars of European security. The meeting confirmed the undoubted importance of consultations among NATO allies, who represent Alliance’s eastern flank.


Working Meeting on Public Procurement of the Visegrad Group, 30 May, Warsaw

The meeting, organized by the Public Procurement Office of Poland, was also attended by representatives of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian authorities. It served as good occasion to exchange experience as regards the implementation of the 2014 EU Public Procurement Directives as well as provided an opportunity to present specific legal solutions introduced to national legislations.


Meeting of the foreign ministers of Visegrad Group, Nordic and Baltic States, 30 May, Sopot

The participants agreed that they share a similar assessment regarding a number of important regional issues and they expressed their readiness to further deepen cooperation within this format.

The ministers stressed the need for action to bolster security and stability in the region and build a constructive relationship with neighbours, while clearly expressing that states within the format expect partners to respect international law and the inviolability of borders.

The ministers also recognized the important role of regional energy and transport projects for further convergence of the countries and societies of Central and Northern Europe.

They also agreed that in the face of the crisis, the EU should work together to strengthen the Union and better prepare it for the challenges it faces. The meeting was preceded by a co-ordination meeting of the Visegrad Group Heads where The Hungarian Foreign Minister also provided information on the meetings that the Hungarian Presidency of the Group plans to organize in July this year.


Meeting of Ministers for Science and Higher Education, 30-31 May, Kraków

During the Impact'17 Conference, held on 30 and 31 May, in Kraków the V4 ministers for higher education and EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation Sciences Carlos Moedas, discussed the new concept of the EU Research and Innovation Framework Program. The Ministers signed a joint declaration on the future of the European Research Area and the European Higher Education Area.


Meeting of Ministers of Culture, 1-2 June, Gdynia

The Ministers’ discussion focused on identity of the region and a need to create a common perception of V4 countries. In addition, the Ministers accepted the joint Experts’ Report, reviewing main cultural projects and listened to summaries of the Visegrad International Fund's activities in 2016/17. The Ministers also awarded the Olomouc Museum of Art the laureate of the International Visegrad Prize for the year 2015.

Meeting of V4 Interior Ministers with the Baltic states, 12 June, Warsaw

The meeting gave an opportunity to summarize Polish presidency. With the participation of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia the meeting’s main topics were migration, protection of EU’s external borders and safety of EU’s citizens.


Consultations of the national security council’s secretaries and national security, 13 June, Warsaw

A number of security policy issues was discussed: the results of NATO’s special summit in Brussels, a V4 cooperation within NATO, policy of Russia, situation in the Eastern Partnership countries, as well as challenges posed by the hybrid threats.


Meeting of ministers responsible for cohesion policy and economic affairs of the V4 countries and Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia, 14 June, Warsaw

During the meeting two parallel thematic sessions took place – one dedicated to the future shape of cohesion policy in the context of the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework after 2020, and the second one on the future of the internal market in the context of the debate on the shape of the EU.


Summit of V4 and Benelux Prime Ministers, 19 June, Warsaw

Prime ministers talked about the future of the EU, Brexit and the internal market. The relations with Russia, as well as issues of Eastern Partnership and migration were be discussed. The meeting was preceded by consultations by the Prime Ministers of the V4 countries ("V4 only" format), during which the Hungarian Presidency program of the V4 (1 July 2017 - 30 June 2018) was formally adopted and the symbolic transfer of the Hungarian leadership took place. Views on the June European Council were exchanged.


Meeting of V4 Chiefs of Defense, 20-22 June, Kraków

During the meeting questions related to the formation of the EU Battle Group were discussed, together with important topics of V4 joint participation in strengthening NATO’s Eastern Flank


Meeting of V4 Prime Ministers with President of France, 23 June, Brussels

The discussion concentrated on the EU agenda: common market, posting of workers’ directive and future of the EU. All participants expressed a will to continue dialogue in this format.


The 25th meeting of V4 environment ministers + Bulgaria and Romania, 28-29 June, Zakopane

Ministers discussed Natura 2000 network in V4 + countries and issues related to the air quality. A study visit to Podhalanska Geothermal Energy Company also took place.


V4 MFA Political Directors’ Consultations with Georgia, 28 June, Tbilisi

The talks focused on the Eastern Partnership and preparations for the 2017 Summit, the EU-Russia relationship, conflict in Ukraine and Georgia-Russia relations as well as political and security situation in Southern Caucasus. Turkey and political developments in the broader Middle East region were also discussed.


Meeting of V4 Labor Ministers 29 June, Warsaw

The extraordinary meeting was devoted to the issues related to EU’s directive on posting workers and Social Rights.



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