Tibor Navracsics, Hungary’s minister for regional development, has urged deeper cooperation among the Visegrad Group countries.
Navracsics told a panel discussion at the Visegrad Summer Academy conference that for the central European grouping of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia to be successful, the four countries must deepen their cooperation. Navracsics told the conference, organized by the National University of Public Service and the Waclaw Felczak Institute of Polish-Hungarian Cooperation, that of the four members, Hungary had the strongest emotional commitment to the grouping. He said Czechia and Slovakia were members of the V4 for “pragmatic and geopolitical” reasons, while Poland was a member “on a pragmatic and emotional basis”. Navracsics emphasised that cooperation among the four countries was especially good when it came to handling the issue of migration, but the war in Ukraine and Russia’s aggression had brought “a number of disagreements and debates to the surface”. He noted that the Hungarian government urged an immediate ceasefire and a just peace in Ukraine. He said the V4 needed “symbolic gestures” and its political cooperation to be strengthened. The event was addressed in a video message by President Katalin Novák, who underlined that the conference’s young participants were the guarantee of the V4’s future. She highlighted the significance of the Waclaw Felczak Institute’s activities when it came to the strengthening of Hungarian-Polish friendship and stressed the importance of regional cooperation among central and eastern European countries during the war in Ukraine. Marek Kuchciński, head of the Polish Chancellery, said the war had caused Warsaw to increase its defence spending to 4 percent of GDP. He said the V4 needed to ward off the “divide and conquer principle being applied by Moscow and Brussels”. All wars strengthen regional cooperation, and this is needed between Warsaw and Budapest, he added.