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.
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.
The official meeting of Speakers/Presidents of the Visegrád Group Parliaments took place on 2nd March 2018 in Budapest.
null Meeting of the V4 Parliaments’ Defence Committees on 21-22nd February 2018
Representatives of the V4 Parliaments’ Defence Committees convened in Budapest on 21-22nd February 2018 under the auspices of the parliamentary dimension of the V4 Hungarian Presidency. This event was the last in the series of meetings held by the V4 Parliaments’ standing committees. Szilárd Németh, Chairman of the Defence and Law Enforcement Committee of the Hungarian National Assembly hosted Radovan Vích, Deputy-chairman of the Committee on Defence of the Czech Chamber of Deputies, Michal Jach, the Chairman of the Committee on National Defence of the Polish Sejm, Jaroslaw Rusiecki, the Chairman of the Committee on National Defence of the Polish Senate, and Anton Hrnko, Chairman of the Committee on Defence and Security of the National Council of the Slovak Republic. The agenda of the meeting included topics such as “V4 cooperation, the role of the armed forces in managing mass illegal migration”, as well as the “The Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union, European cooperation in the defence industry”. The keynote speaker for the first topic was György Bakondi, Chief Homeland Security Advisor to the Prime Minister and Major-general Gábor Bakondi, Chief of the HDF General Staff Operational Directorate, while the second topic was introduced by Péter Siklósi, MoD Deputy State Secretary for Defence Policy and Planning.
In his opening remarks Szilárd Németh highlighted: the choice of the topics of the meeting were not a coincidence, migration and the approach adopted to migration can be considered to be one of the greatest challenges of recent times. He welcomed the agreement among participants of the meeting that migration was a detrimental phenomenon, which beside the security implications also posed identity, existential, economic and social threats. Szilárd Németh expressed his conviction that the key element to sustainable migration policy was the control of the external borders and curbing the illegal movement of people. The Hungarian committee chairman emphasized: the objective of the V4 countries has to be to strengthen the security and the stability of the region, to promote peace and prosperity. Strengthening defence cooperation further has to be one the most important tool to this end. Szilárd Németh emphasized: the V4 countries contribute jointly to efficient border protection, preventing persons planning to perpetrate terrorist attacks from infiltrating European Union territory under the guise of mass illegal migration. Speaking about the 2015-2017 period, György Bakondi informed the participants in his contribution about the development of a joint and steadfast V4 position on migration, the forms of joint cooperation, about social and political reactions to migration challenges. Gábor Böröndi spoke about the role and the mission of the Hungarian Defence Forces in managing mass, illegal migration. Touching on the issue of the Common Security and Defence Policy, Szilárd Németh emphasized: thanks to recent political challenges – such as Brexit, the economic downturn in certain countries, international terrorism and the transformed European security environment – this topic has again gained prominence and has made the review of the Common Security and Defence Policy necessary. The defence of Europe and its citizens, crisis management and capacity building have become a priority. In his presentation on European defence industry cooperation Péter Siklósi spoke – among others – about the challenges affecting the EU Common Security and Defence Policy, security policy trends and objectives, permanent structured cooperation on defence, the creation of an operational planning and conduct capability, about improving the deployability of the battle groups, about strengthening the European technological and defence industry base, as well as EU-NATO cooperation.
At the end of their meeting, heads of delegations signed a closing document and informed members of the press about their deliberations.
Annual Session of V4+ Parliamentary Libraries and Research Services 24-25 May 2018, Budapest
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.
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.
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.