Meeting of the European Affairs Committees of the Parliaments of V4 countries in Budapest, 16-18 April 2023

The Committees on European Affairs of the Parliaments of the Visegrád countries met in Budapest between 16–18 April 2023. At the invitation of Richárd Hörcsik, Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs of the Hungarian National Assembly, all the relevant committees of the V4 Parliamentary Chambers were represented at the event. The meeting was attended by Zoltán Tessely, Balázs Barkóczi and Péter Balassa, Vice-Chairs and Boglárka Illés and Hajnalka Juhász, members of the host Committee, alongside the Chair of the Committee.

The participants of the meeting discussed two agenda items. First, they exchanged their views on the programme of the Swedish EU Presidency and the possible tasks of the next Trio Presidency, with Dag Filip Hartelius, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden to Hungary, and János Bóka, State Secretary for EU Affairs at the Ministry of Justice, delivering presentations to the participants. The second item on the agenda was energy security and the green transition, following a keynote speech by Attila Steiner, State Secretary for Energy and Climate at the Ministry of Energy. In his speech, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden stressed the importance of regional cooperation and the maintenance of unity in Europe, and outlined the priorities of the Swedish EU Presidency, which he saw as being in line with those of the Slovak V4 Presidency. State Secretary János Bóka briefed the participants on the preparations of the Spanish-Belgian-Hungarian Trio Presidency. He pointed out that Poland will succeed Hungary as the Presidency-in-Office of the Council of the EU and will also hold the V4 presidency in parallel, so he believes that the years 2024-2025 offer a good opportunity to link the interests of the V4 and the EU. In his opening speech, Attila Steiner spoke about the specific energy situation in Eastern Europe and specified Hungary's energy objectives for the future.

In his introductory speech, Richárd Hörcsik pointed out the special role of the Committees on European Affairs in the V4 cooperation and stressed that the V4 should focus on cooperation and on the things that connect us. He recalled the difficulties of the last three years, including the Covid pandemic as well as the war in Ukraine, spoke of the consequences of the latter and said that it was our human and moral duty to support Ukraine and its people. In her speech, Hajnalka Juhász highlighted the problem of water scarcity in connection with the migration, among other issues, and in this context, she presented the activities of the Hungary Helps programme. Boglárka Illés also stressed the importance of water, an issue on which several EU member states share similar views, and she saw the opportunity to build alliances in this area.

In conclusion of the event, the delegations expressed their views on the topics discussed at the event in a jointly adopted final document.

+ Conclusions
+ Photos (Hungarian National Assembly)