Back Meeting of the Speakers of Parliaments of the Visegrád Group in Bratislava, 3 February 2023
The National Council of the Slovak Republic, which holds the Presidency of the Visegrád Group between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023, hosted the official meeting of the Speakers of Parliaments of the Visegrád Group in Bratislava Castle on 3 February 2023. At the invitation of Boris Kollár, Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, the event was attended by László Kövér, Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly, Markéta Pekarová Adamová, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic, Miloš Vystrčil, President of the Czech Senate, Elżbieta Witek, Marshal of the Polish Sejm and Tomasz Grodzki, Marshal of the Polish Senate. At the meeting, the Speakers discussed two topics: first, the security situation in our region, including the situation in Ukraine, as well as illegal migration and the protection of the Schengen area; followed by the energy crisis and its European solutions.
In his keynote address, Boris Kollár expressed his delight over the event’s successful organisation with the participation of the Speakers of Parliaments of each Visegrád country. In their speeches during the first agenda item, all Speakers stressed the importance of providing assistance to Ukraine and pointed out the serious consequences of the war. In addition, the Slovak, Czech and Polish Speakers all emphasized the importance of NATO enlargement and asked when the accession of Sweden and Finland could be ratified by the Hungarian National Assembly. László Kövér informed his peers on the matter, explaining that this issue was expected to be on the agenda of the Hungarian National Assembly at the beginning of the spring session starting as of 27 February 2023. He also reported on the expected timing of the legislative process to be launched in this context. Regarding the Visegrád co-operation, he stressed that for Hungary it represented an organisation for the promotion of common interests and positions, which aims to achieve an honest exchange of views based on mutual respect for each other's opinions, without striving for unanimity at all times.
In his remarks, Miloš Vystrčil, President of the Czech Senate said that in his view the main value of the V4 lies in the fact that each of the countries have some experience with totalitarianism and disenfranchisement, which sets the way forward. Markéta Pekarová Adamová, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic recalled the negative experience of Eastern Europe stemming from Russian imperialism and aggression, while stressing the need to help Ukraine in every way we can. In this context, she expressed her regret about the failure to fully exploit the potential of V4. Elżbieta Witek, Marshal of the Polish Sejm also highlighted the importance of the V4, emphasizing that although the Visegrád countries may hold different views, the important aspect is to move in the same direction together. Tomasz Grodzki, Marshal of the Polish Senate said that V4 offered a good platform for finding solutions to issues. He also stressed the importance of united action in overcoming new challenges.
During the event, the Speakers issued a joint statement expressing their common position on the topics of the meeting.
+Photos (by the National Council of the Slovak Republic)
+ Joint Statement