Hungary will hold the Presidency of the Visegrád Group between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018, assuming the presidency from Poland. In the upcoming year, we will face a number of significant events and challenges that will demonstrate the critical importance of regional cooperation.

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The closing event of parliamentary cooperation during the Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrad Group, i.e. the Informal Meeting of the Presidents and Speakers of Parliaments of the Visegrad countries and the football tournament of the V4 parliamentary teams, were organised by the Hungarian National Assembly between June 21-23, 2018 in Balatonfüred.

CsoportképThe official meeting of Speakers/Presidents of the Visegrád Group Parliaments took place on 2nd March 2018 in Budapest. 

Budapest was the venue for the first Meeting of the Presidents and Speakers of V4 Parliaments during the Hungarian V4 Presidency. At the invitation of László Kövér...

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null Meeting of the V4 Parliaments’ Economics Committees 7-8th February 2018.

Representatives of the V4 Parliaments’ Economics Committees convened in Budapest on 7-8th February 2018. Erik Bánki, the Chairman of the Economics Committee of the Hungarian National Assembly hosted Pavel Štohl, the Vice-Chairman of the Committee on National Economy, Agriculture and Transport of the Senate of the Czech Republic, Martin Kolovratník, the Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Economic Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic, Jerzy Meysztowicz, the Chairman of the Economy and Development Committee of the Polish Sejm, Andrzej Stanislawek, the Chairman of the Committee on National Economy and Innovativeness of the Polish Senate and Maros Kondrót, the Vice-Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee of the Slovak National Council.

The agenda of the meeting included issues related to the targeted revision of the postings directive, the preparation for the next European Union budgetary and cohesion policy period, as well as related economic policy and economic development plans. The position of the Hungarian government for the first agenda item was introduced by Péter Cseresnyés, State Secretary for Labour Market and Training at the Ministry for National Economy, while the details about the negotiations related to the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) were shared by Szabolcs Takács, State Secretary for EU Affairs at the Prime Minister's Office of Hungary. After outlining the priorities of the Hungarian V4 Presidency in his opening remarks, Erik Bánki highlighted the importance of the single market and the competitiveness of the European Union. He noted: the Visegrád countries are interested in an economically stable European Union and that the competitiveness of the European Union needs to be improved in order to create sustainable economic growth. He also pointed out the importance of an investment environment that is conducive to the creation of jobs and to ensuring and equal access to digital technologies and qualified workforce. He highlighted that Hungary was opposed to the proposed revision of the postings directive, because it was an unwarranted and disproportionate restriction on the freedom to provide services and the competitiveness of our region in the European Union. He added that the application of the postings directive in the transportation sector was the most sensitive issue. Péter Cseresnyés explained that old and new member states have not been able to come to an acceptable compromise on the issue of posted workers. There have been some partial successes with respect to the introduction of a 4-year transitional period before the application of the revised directive. The revision of the postings directive means that there will be new rules for the maximum duration of posting and also for remuneration. With respect to the issue of MFF, Erik Bánki called the attention to the challenges and crises, that the Union has to tackle. Among others he alluded to the fact that new challenges need to be tackled at a time when one of the net contributing member states, the United Kingdom was exiting the Union. At the same time – he warned – it was important to ensure that the financial needs of the new challenges are not fulfilled to the detriment of the traditional policies. Participants of the meeting noted with satisfaction that the Bulgarian Presidency of the European Union considers it a priority to preserve the role of the Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy. They agreed that policy objectives should be first defined during the planning of the post-2020 MFF, and only after this can the allocation of the necessary funds happen. It was stated that the resource gap created by Brexit needs to be managed, hence the discussions between Member States on sharing the extra burden. Szabolcs Takács emphasized that V4 countries have reached common ground about the main issues of the 2020-2027 budgetary cycle and will represent this jointly at EU fora. He underlined: Hungary firmly rejects the idea of a political conditionality of EU funds, the coupling of Cohesion Policy with compliance with the fundamental principles of the rule of law as well as the linking of EU funds to the mandatory distribution of migrants between the Member States.
As a final act of their constructive talks, the heads of the delegations of V4 Parliaments’ Economics Committees signed a closing statement, which will serve as the basis for the Conclusions to be adopted by the meeting of the Speakers of Parliaments of the V4 countries envisaged for March 2018. At the end of their meeting the heads of delegations met with the representatives of the press.   


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V4 Summer Concerts on Kossuth Square in June

Annual Session of V4+ Parliamentary Libraries and Research Services 24-25 May 2018, Budapest

Workshop on the future of the European Union - Values in Budapest on 22-23 February 2018
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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.

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.

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Ľuboš Blaha, Chair of the Committee on European Affairs of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, hosted the European affairs committees of the V4 for a meeting in Bratislava on 21-23 May 2017. Chair Richárd Hörcsik, Vice Chairs Zoltán Tessely and Tibor Bana, along with senior advisor László Juhász, represented the European Affairs Committee of the Parliament.

The agenda of the meeting included three topics: the dual quality of foodstuffs, the future of the European Union and a discussion of the agenda items of the upcoming, 57th (LVII) COSAC (Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs) meeting.

Chair Zsolt Németh, Vice Chair Zsolt Csenger-Zalán and Árpád Velez represented the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Hungarian Parliament at the meeting held in Warsaw on 27-28 February 2017.

The agenda of the meeting featured discussions of the impacts of the European Union, the United States and Russia, as well as the presidency of Donald Trump, on Eastern policy; European security challenges; and questions related to the southern neighbourhood, migration, terrorism, the conflict in Syria and relations with Turkey.

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The Speaker of Parliament László Kövér held an informal meeting with Andrej Danko, Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, on 12 April 2017 in Esztergom. During their meeting, the two speakers reviewed inter-parliamentary relations and current topics in V4 cooperation. 
Deputy Speaker of Parliament János Latorcai participated in the Europe of the Carpathians Conference hosted in Krynica in southern Poland on 6-8 September 2016. Speakers of parliament from the V4 countries spoke at the opening session of the conference under the title “The Visegrád Group: Current Challenges and New Forms of Cooperation”.
A Szejm elnöke a magyar parlament elnökével közösen leleplezték a lengyel légiós és a magyar huszár emlékművétThe Speaker of Parliament was accompanied on his visit to Poland by Mrs. László Csúcs, the spokesperson for the Polish nationality in Parliament, and by Ministry of Agriculture Deputy State Secretary István Lóránt Szakáli.