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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null Official Meeting of Presidents and Speakers in Budapest on March 1-2, 2018

CsoportképThe official meeting of Speakers/Presidents of the Visegrád Group Parliaments took place on 2nd March 2018 in Budapest.  The meeting was attended upon the invitation of Kövér László, Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly by Marek Kuchciński, Marshal of the Sejm and Stanisław Karczewski, Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, Milan Štěch, President of the Senate and Radek Vondráček, President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic and by Andrej Danko, Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic. The main topics of the meeting included topics such as the assessment of the V4 Hungarian presidency and the reinforcement of the Visegrád Group parliamentary cooperation. László Kövér, the Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly explained that the official meeting of the Speakers was preceded by an informal meeting of the Speakers, a conference of experts and researchers, as well as the meetings of several standing committees, such as the European affairs, foreign affairs, family affairs, economics, agriculture and defence committees, which all ended with the unanimous adoption of closing documents reflecting shared Visegrád interests. Speaking at the conference, László Kövér highlighted that the topics discussed at the committee meetings – such as the future of the European Union, the EU and the NATO integration of the Western Balkans, the amendment of the postings directive, the next multiannual financial framework, the issue of overcoming demographic challenges, the significance of family policy the reform of the common agricultural policy, the elimination of double standards in food quality, the management of migration related issues and the opportunities for defence cooperation – not only represented joint interests and values of the V4 countries, but were issues of prominent importance for the future and the reinforcement of the entire European continent. The Hungarian Speaker informed his partners that the cooperation between the Visegrád country parliaments has never been as intensive as it was during the period of the Hungarian presidency. He emphasized: the V4 parliamentary meetings and the conclusions adopted there have further cemented the parliamentary relations between the Visegrád countries. He also emphasized the significance of the V4 joint action in defence of European values. Among these he highlighted the enforcement of the subsidiarity principle, as well as the protection of the achievements of European integration such as cohesion policy, the single market built on the four freedoms, the common agricultural policy as well as the common foreign and security policy. He considered it important that Visegrád country parliaments are participating for the first time in an EU twinning program aimed at the integration support for the Moldovan parliament. László Kövér pointed out that a more intensive application of the yellow card procedure, as well as the use of the red card for plans encroaching on their interests should be the tools to strengthen the role of national parliaments in EU legislative processes.
This was the first time that a joint conference of V4 Speakers/Presidents and the Parliamentary Committees participating in the parliamentary programs of the Presidency was organized on the side line of the official meeting of the Speakers. Speaking at the conference, Péter Szijjártó, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade emphasized that the Visegrád cooperation is the closest and most efficient form of cooperation in the European Union. The V4 has become a renowned brand, which captures the attention of the entire European political elite as well as the media. Its voice is heard, and its economic potential makes it a significant actor in shaping European processes. He also spoke about the palpable enlargement fatigue in the EU and in this respect about the necessity integrating the Western Balkans region. He considered energy security to be the most important issue for the near future. He highlighted the role of the V4 countries in representing the Christian traditions and identity of our countries, while he also specially emphasized the importance of a single voice of national parliaments on issues of substance in European life.
After the committee representatives – Richárd Hörcsik, Zsolt Németh, Gabriella Selmeczi, Erik Bánki, Szilárd Németh chairpersons and László L. Simon the deputy chairman of his committee – briefly outlined the results of their committee meetings, the participating Czech and Polish representatives were also given the floor. After this, the Speakers/Presidents signed a Joint Statement in the presence of the press in which they emphasized the right of the Visegrád countries and national parliaments to contribute constructively to the debate on the future of Europe. They agreed that the Visegrád countries are interested in shaping an efficient and more citizen friendly European Union built on a community of strong and successful states. They pointed out that problems stemming from outside of the European Union, such as migration and the refugee crisis, need to be managed in their places of origin. László Kövér informed his partners that he will – in his capacity as the Chairman of the V4 Hungarian Presidency parliamentary cooperation – send the joint statement to the Speakers of national parliaments of the European Union and the leaders of the European Union institutions.
The joint conference of V4 Speakers/Presidents and the standing committees participating in the parliamentary programs on 2nd March 2018 concluded the series of official events organized under the auspices of the parliamentary dimension of the Visegrád Group Hungarian presidency. The V4 presidency will be handed over to the National Council of the Slovak Republic at an informal meeting of Speakers to be organized in June.

 

 

 

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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.

Representatives of the V4 Parliaments’ Agricultural Committees convened in Budapest on 14-15th February 2018.

Representatives of the V4 Parliaments’ Economics Committees convened in Budapest on 7-8th February 2018.

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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.