Prime Minister Beata Szydło: We want the European Union to develop like the Visegrád Group

We were a visible and influential participant in the debate on the future of the European Union. Our voice was strong and clearly heard, said Prime Minister Beata Szydło when handing over the V4 presidency to the Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán.

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Photo: P. Tracz/Chancellery of the Prime Minister

Successful Polish presidency in the Visegrád Group

Summing up the Polish presidency of the Visegrád Group, Prime Minister Beata Szydło stated that good projects and concepts transferred by the Czech presidency had been continued. She said that during the Polish presidency the V4 was a visible and influential participant of the debate on the future of the European Union. Our voice was strong and clearly heard. She added that thanks to commitment of all Prime Ministers the voice of the Group had also been taken into account by its partners and had defined the direction of discussions on matters concerning major challenges faced by Europe.

The Prime Minister emphasized that the V4 countries were bound by common goals and actions for their citizens. She stated that we would want the European Union to develop like the Visegrád Group, i.e. be safe, develop fast and address the issues important for its citizens. Beata Szydło declared that the countries from the Group are linked not only by politics and the EU, but also by genuine friendship and understanding for each other.

In her opinion numerous Europeans perceive the Visegrád Group as a reference point in terms of attachment to values and consolidation of our continent. She thanked Bohuslav Sobotka, Robert Fico and Viktor Orbán for their joint efforts to make it happen.

Year of the Polish presidency of V4 and the Slovak presidency of the EU

A year ago Poland took over the presidency of the Visegrád Group and Slovakia of the EU. The Prime Minister said that thanks to efforts of Prime Minister Robert Fico the Slovak presidency had been an example of professionalism, flexibility and efficiency. While ensuring that it represents the interests of the entire European Union, Slovakia efficiently led the Community through the first months after the decision of the Britons to leave the EU, said Beata Szydło.

The meeting with the V4 Prime Ministers provided an opportunity to thank the ministers, representatives of analytical institutes and all institutions involved in the work for the Polish presidency and the success of the Visegrád Group.

Handover of presidency in the Visegrád Group

The Polish presidency in the V4 will formally come to an end on 30 June 2017. The today’s meeting was a symbolic moment of handing over the presidency to the Prime Minister of Hungary. According to Prime Minister Beata Szydło, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is known for his energy and hard work. Victor, I wish you that the Hungarian presidency contributed to further strengthening of the Visegrád Group brand in Europe. So that when we meet next year in Budapest to hand over the presidency to Slovakia, we could all say that the Visegrád Group successfully builds the strength of our region by enhancing the EU with the power of its member countries, said the Prime Minister. Beata Szydło ensured that she would support the activities of the Hungarian presidency and would cooperate to contribute to its success.

A symbolic gesture of handover of the presidency to Hungary was the presentation of a coin to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán with an image of Jadwiga who was the Hungarian queen, the Polish king, a saint and a patron of Poland. The image of Jadwiga on the coin was modelled on the painting from the Royal Castle, where the ceremony took place.

Important initiatives during the Polish V4 presidency

The most important achievements of the Visegrád Group during the Polish presidency include:

  • adoption of a joint position - contribution to the Rome Declaration 2017 “Strong Europe – the Union of Action and Trust”;
  • support of the dialogue of the Group with the Eastern Partnership countries (e.g. the meeting of the V4 Prime Ministers with the Ukrainian Prime Minister during the Economic Forum in Krynica in September 2016) and the Western Balkans states;
  • work on implementation of the decisions made at the NATO summit in Warsaw;
  • coordination of positions before every European Council, i.e. in the area of energy security, migration crisis, single digital market, support for the EU economic growth and employment, reforms and future of the EU, cohesion policy;
  • support for initiatives contributing to the cohesion of the region, including the construction of energy and transport infrastructure.

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