Video conference of the Committees on Foreign Affairs of the Parliaments of the Visegrad countries on 8 June 2021

A video conference of the Committees on Foreign Affairs of the Parliaments of the Visegrad countries took place on 8 June 2021 on the initiative of Marek Kuchciński, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Polish Sejm. All the foreign affairs committees of the V4 parliamentary chambers were represented at the virtual meeting. The Hungarian National Assembly was represented by Zsolt Németh, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, along with Vice-Chairs Hajnalka Juhász and Mihály Balla.

The two main themes of the event were the current state of cooperation within the Visegrad Group, a summary of the Polish presidency and the challenges for the future, as well as the participation of the Visegrad Group in the discussions on the future of Europe.

The virtual meeting was opened by Ryszard Terlecki, Vice-Marshal of the Polish Sejm, who in his introduction underlined that parliamentary cooperation in the Visegrad Group is developing very well and is an important element of the relations between the countries. He underlined the opportunities offered by regional cooperation formats, notably the common voice of the V4, which is already a major force within the EU. With respect to enlargement policy, he underlined that the countries aspiring for EU accession need to have a pre-defined roadmap and stressed that the Visegrad Group should have a common position on this issue as well.  

After the introductory remarks, during the first agenda, the committees discussed the 30 years of the Visegrad Group cooperation, the Polish presidency, the role of the Visegrad Fund and the need for demonstrating solidarity in the face of increasing Russian activity. The second half of the videoconference focused on the Conference on the Future of Europe, during which participants discussed the role of the Visegrad Group in the series of conferences as well as the involvement of non-EU countries - the Eastern Partnership and the Western Balkans - in the conference.

Zsolt Németh took the floor several times, speaking in his interventions about the 30 years of cooperation, the importance of the Visegrad Fund, the recent successes in the foreign policy dimension of the cooperation, the Hungarian position on Russia, the Conference on the Future of Europe, the need for a European perspective for the countries aspiring to join the EU, the priorities of the Hungarian V4 Presidency starting on 1 July and the meetings planned in the parliamentary dimension.

In her speech, Hajnalka Juhász shared Hungary's views on the state of the European Union and its internal political dynamics, touched upon the developments concerning Hungary regarding the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 as well as the Recovery Plan, and finally informed the participants that Hungary will hold the Presidency of the Council of Europe in parallel with the V4 Presidency from 1 May.

At the end of the event, Marek Kuchciński wished the Hungarian side a lot of success and achievements for the V4 Presidency.