The European Affairs parliamentary committees of the Visegrad Group countries “resolutely condemned” the war in Ukraine in a joint closing statement that also drew the European Union’s attention to the challenge posed by Ukrainian grain.
After meeting in Budapest on Monday, Richárd Hörcsik, the (Fidesz) head of parliament’s European affairs committee, said the statement, besides addressing the war in Ukraine, focused on issues affecting the everyday life of the V4, energy security among them. Referring to Ukrainian grain, he said there was “a problem”, and agriculture was a “vitally important sector” in all four countries. The current situation should not be allowed to have a severely adverse effect on their farmers, he added. “Our future is at stake,” Hörcsik said, adding that a meeting of the presidents of the EU Affairs Committees of the European Union Parliaments (COSAC) in Sweden in May would present an opportunity to further address the issue. Meanwhile, he said that whereas V4 countries pursued different policies in many respects, “we still look to what unites us”. Some issues can best be resolved in the EU space more easily together than individually, he said.
The closing statement expressed support for the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine and for preserving the country’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. The committees called for an immediate halt to intentional attacks against vital infrastructure and civilian targets in Ukraine. They highlighted a UN General Assembly resolution citing the organisation’s founding document which they said would serve as a basis of “comprehensive, fair and permanent peace” in Ukraine. Also, they called for creating a mechanism in line with international law for calling Russia fully to account for its actions. The participants of the meeting expressed appreciation for the EU to offer candidate status to Ukraine, Moldova and Bosnia-Herzegovina and the start of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia after several years of delay. At the same time, they called for preparations of the candidacy of Georgia to be speeded up, adding that they expect the EU’s enlargement policy to get new impetus during the next presidency. They expressed support for strengthening the external borders of the EU in order to boost effective action against illegal migration and human smuggling.