On July 1, Poland will take over the presidency of the Visegrad Group. On Tuesday, the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the EU in Brussels hosted the ceremony of handing over this presidency from the Czech Republic who held it over the past year.
The ceremony was attended not only by EU ambassadors of the Visegrad Group (V4) countries - Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary - but also by Romania, Croatia, Slovenia and Luxembourg, as well as EU commissioners: for agriculture - Janusz Wojciechowski and for neighbourhood and extensions - Oliver Varhelyi.
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Poland to the EU Andrzej Sadoś said that the V4 from Brussel's perspective is a very practical and effective platform for coordinating positions on specific issues. "In all four countries and the Visegrad plus formula, we are an important format that contributes to making the most important decisions in the EU," he told the Polish Press Agency.
Sadoś emphasized that the ceremony was also attended by the Luxembourg ambassador to the EU, which is a symbolic reference to the first summit in Visegrad in 1335, when King Casimir the Great, the King of Hungary Charles I and the Czech King Jan I of Luxembourg participated in the two-month summit. During the summit far-reaching decisions were made, including economic ones, because of the importance of the creation of a new trade route that bypassed the growing Vienna. According to Commissioner Wojciechowski, Poland is taking over the presidency of the V4 at a key moment in the EU, because member states are on the verge of finalising budget negotiations.
On July 3, on the occasion of Poland's takeover of the Presidency, a picnic is planned at the Fallon stadium in Brussels, during which there will be a diplomatic match of the V4 countries with diplomats of countries belonging to the so-called ‘economical four’ of the EU, namely Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria. Due to pandemic restrictions, 20 players will be able to participate in the match, not the usual 22.
The Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the EU underlines that despite the restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, it does not intend to cancel any of the 300 political, economic and cultural events planned in Brussels related to the Polish presidency in V4.
After Poland, the rotating presidency will be taken over by Hungarians, then Slovaks, and then the Czechs.
The Visegrad Group was founded in February 1991. Cooperation is not institutional, it is based on consultations during regular meetings at various political levels, including presidents, prime ministers and foreign affairs ministers. The name of the group comes from the city of Visegrad in the north of Hungary, which in 1335 hosted the congress of the kings of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.