President Andrzej Duda noted that the beginning of the Polish V4 Presidency is accompanied by the motto "Back on track". "I hope that the coming year will see a very good cooperation between the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, which will allow us to meet our priorities and ensure a rapid return to economic growth," he stressed.
The Visegrad Group summit
V4 leaders discussed the draft EU budget for 2021-2027 and the European Recovery Instrument, as well as other issues related to the current EU agenda. This was the second face-to-face meeting of the Visegrad Group Prime Ministers after the break caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
"The Visegrad Group has a solid economic foundation. We were also able to overcome the COVID-19 crisis," Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki indicated. "At the same time, we want to help the European Union in its transformation and in whatever the agreements on the EU budget and the European Recovery Fund will involve," he added.
The head of the Polish government communicated that the V4 countries have a uniform standpoint when it comes to "the impossibility of coercion of states and at the same time the necessity to protect the external borders of the EU".
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki added that the V4 leaders also discussed the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Belarus.
New EU budget and post-pandemic recovery measures
The discussion on the budget and suggested EU financial mechanisms are part of the negotiations ahead of the special meeting of the European Council on 17-18 July, which will be devoted to the EU budget for 2021-27 and the Recovery Instrument. Consultations with EU leaders, held by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, are in progress in order to find a political compromise within the EU.
During the Conference of EU heads of state and government on 19 June this year, Poland backed the European Commission's package, including the proposal of the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 and the European Recovery Instrument, as a basis for further discussion. The German Presidency of the EU Council declares its intention to prepare legal solutions to ensure the fastest possible availability of funds and, consequently, a development impulse beneficial to the economy.
Polish V4 Presidency – "Back on track"
On 1 July this year, our country began its one-year Visegrad Group Presidency. The motto of the Polish Presidency is: "Back on track". We want to focus on post-pandemic recovery and on stimulating regional cooperation and supporting interpersonal contacts after lifting restrictions related to COVID-19.
Poland also wants to develop V4 cooperation in the digital sector. We are hoping to implement joint initiatives and projects concerning, among others, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and cyber security.
Meeting with the Prime Minister of Slovakia
Prior to the beginning of the V4 summit, the head of the Polish government met in Warsaw with Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovič, who visited Poland for the first time since assuming the office on 21 March.
The Prime Ministers discussed bilateral and regional issues, including, among others, economic cooperation, energy and development of cross-border infrastructure.
"Over the last few years, trade relations between Poland and Slovakia have increased by more than 1/3. This is a phenomenal development," Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stated. As he added, our country provides very good conditions for investment. "We invite Slovakian investors to Poland. In this way our relations are getting very close," the head of the Polish government stressed.
"Poland and people who live here are our brothers and sisters," Slovakian Prime Minister Igor Matovich said. As he emphasised, Slovakia wants to draw on Polish experience in using EU funds.
Polish and Slovak Prime Ministers laid flowers at the monument commemorating the 535th Platoon, which comprised, among others, soldiers from Slovakia.