Official Meeting of Speakers/Presidents of the Parliaments of the V4 countries in Visegrád, 23 September 2021

The Hungarian National Assembly organized an official meeting of the Speakers of Parliaments of the Visegrád Group (V4) at the Royal Palace in Visegrád on 23 September 2021. For the second time during the Hungarian V4 presidency, the leaders of the parliaments of the Visegrád countries visited Hungary at the invitation of László Kövér, Speaker of the National Assembly. The Czech Chamber of Deputies was represented by Speaker Radek Vondráček, the Czech Senate by President Miloš Vystrčil, the Polish Senate by Marshal Tomasz Grodzki, the Polish Sejm by Deputy Marshal Ryszard Terlecki and the National Council of the Slovak Republic by Deputy Speaker Gábor Grendel.

There were two topics on the agenda of the meeting: "The future of Europe: values and interests", followed by a discussion on the possibilities of the V4+ partnerships. Péter Sztáray, State Secretary for Security Policy  at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, presented the keynote remarks on the first topic. In his speech he stressed that there was a strong need for a strong parliamentary dimension in the Visegrád cooperation. He also stressed that the V4 guarantees that the conflicts of the past will not be repeated. In his opening speech, László Kövér pointed out that "we are all supporters of the original founding principles of the Union, and our common goal is to make this community stronger, more efficient, more transparent and more functional." He said that the original objective of ensuring peace, security and prosperity in the EU can only be achieved through the cooperation of strong and independent nation states and underlined the importance of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, as well as the role of the Future of Europe Conference. Gábor Grendel spoke about the need to strengthen V4 cooperation in areas of common interest. Radek Vondráček talked about the probability of an avalanche-like expansion of strategic sovereignty, which he said could lead to isolation. Miloš Vystrčil stressed that we are all part of the EU, and if we want to change the EU, we have to start the change within ourselves. Ryszard Terlecki highlighted the role of national parliaments in the negotiations on the future of Europe. Tomasz Grodzki said that if we were to do a "cost-benefit" analysis of the EU, the result would be equal.

Speaking on the V4+ partnerships, László Kövér highlighted the positive aspects of the V4+ format and informed his partners about the events where the Hungarian V4 Presidency intends to promote this format. All speakers stressed the importance and the need to support the countries of South-East Europe and to accelerate their European integration and agreed on the potential of the V4+ partnerships as an exercise to be continued. The following day, 24 September, the participants of the meeting attended the 10th Conference of Speakers of Parliaments of Southeast European Countries, organised by the Hungarian National Assembly in the Parliament.