The Official Meeting of the Presidents and Speakers of V4 ParliamentsV4 Parliamentary Speakers
Marek Kuchciński, Marshal of the Sejm of Poland, and Stanisław Karczewski, Marshal of the Senate of Poland, hosted the presidents and speakers of V4 parliaments for an official meeting in Warsaw on 6-7 March 2017. In addition to the two hosts and Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary László Kövér, Andrej Danko, Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic; Jan Hamáček, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic; and Milan Štěch, President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic also participated in the meeting. Following the event, the Hungarian Speaker also held bilateral talks with his Polish colleagues.
The agenda of the meeting featured discussions of the future of the European Union as well as opportunities for the strengthening of parliamentary cooperation in the V4 Group.
Meeting participants agreed that thinking together about the future of Europe is highly timely. Within the frameworks of the core treaties of the European Union, participants found it necessary for national parliaments to speak with a stronger voice in EU decision making. All participants agreed that the EU must be transformed. There was also agreement that the performance of EU institutions is inadequate; participants therefore found the formalisation of a V4 Parliamentary Assembly worth considering. László Kövér proposed holding meetings of European Affairs Committees three times a year, and noted the importance of coordinating positions related to subsidiarity checks. Following their review of possible avenues for strengthening V4 parliamentary cooperation, meeting participants formulated specific recommendations.
Following the official meeting of V4 Speakers of Parliament, the Hungarian Speaker of Parliament conducted bilateral talks with the Marshals of the Sejm and the Senate of Poland. At their meeting, they proposed expert consultations and exchanges of information on directions for the development of V4 cooperation. His Polish colleagues assured the Speaker of the National Assembly of their support for the proposal made by Hungary to conclude a strategic agreement between the three legislatures (the Sejm and the Senate of Poland and the National Assembly of Hungary).
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The Speaker of Parliament László Kövér Participates in Working Meeting of V4 Speakers
The Marshal of the Sejm of Poland Marek Kuchciński and the Marshal of the Senate of Poland Stanisław Karczewski convened a working meeting of V4 speakers of Parliament in Przemyśl on 3-4 December 2016. In addition to the hosts and Speaker Kövér, the Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic Andrej Danko, the President of the Czech Senate Milan Štěch and the Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Jaroslava Pokorná Jermanová also attended the meeting.
The agenda of the event included discussions concerning visions for the future of the European Union, including strengthening the roles national parliaments play, as well as practical proposals aimed at bolstering the recognition of V4 cooperation.
At the informal consultation of V4 heads of Parliament, held this year for the second time, participants expressed their support for a Europe founded on the cooperation of strong states acting in solidarity. They noted the importance of reinforcing the roles national parliaments play in European Union decision-making and of the contribution of V4 countries in helping the EU escape the crisis it is in. They came up with specific proposals for intensifying cooperation on the parliamentary level. Almost all participants agreed in calling for more frequent meetings and consultations between committees. Referencing the waves of crises encountered these days, participants recognised a need to form a shared vision of Europe. Participants also touched on the idea of establishing a second chamber, one of national parliaments, in the European Parliament. They emphasised the need for more efficient exchanges of information and, on the margins of this discussion, raised the possibility of involving EP representatives and press agencies.
Following the discussion of the practical dimensions of V4 cooperation, conference participants agreed it is important for the V4 to become increasingly recognised and accepted. Participants then reviewed their specific proposals for programmes aimed at increasing the popularity of member states and at fostering broader cooperation. The proposals included the organisation of joint exhibitions; patronage by V4 speakers of Parliament of international competitions; producing a common website and implementing joint programmes; developing a parliamentary fellowship programme; introducing a week of programming on public media as the Week of Visegrád Cooperation; and declaring 2017 the Year of the Visegrád Cooperation. No decision was taken at the informal meeting on these proposals.
On the margins of the event, Speaker Kövér conducted a short bilateral meeting with his Slovak counterpart, Andrej Danko.
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