Czech Republic takes over V4 presidency from Slovakia

(L-R) Czech caretaker government head Jiri Rusnok, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico attend a press conference after the meeting of the prime ministers of Visegrad Group in Budapest, Hungary. (Xinhua/Attila Volgyi) File photo/IANS

Prague, July 2 (IANS) The Czech Republic took over the one-year presidency of the Visegrad Group (V4) from Slovakia, planning to build on the previous presidency’s efforts to “return to the roots of cooperation”.

Established in 1991, the V4 consists of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, Xinhua news agency reported.

Calling “V4 Citizens” as its main motto, the Czech presidency will focus on three pillars — a safe and advanced society, an innovative and interconnected economy and the Russia-Ukraine war and its impacts, according to its presidency programme on Saturday.

The Czech Republic continues to regard the V4 format as “a traditional, Central European platform for cultivating good neighbourly relations through dialogue and practical human-centered cooperation, to bring specific benefits for the citizens of the V4 countries,” said the programme.

The Czech presidency will also continue V4 cooperation with external partners. It will keep support for “an ambitious EU enlargement policy high on its agenda as a long-standing priority”.

The Czech presidency also calls for “clear, firm and concrete support” for Ukraine. However, the V4 countries disagree on military aid to Ukraine, the Czech News Agency reported. There are also differences in their approach to reforming the EU’s migration rules.

The V4 is a cultural and political alliance of four Central European states for the purpose of advancing military, cultural, economic and energy cooperation with one another. The rotating V4 Presidency usually runs from the beginning of July to the end of June of the following year.

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