Reports 2016

The Visegrád puzzle - Views from Central Europe

13 June 2016

Many things have recently been said about the Visegrád Group – made up of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – as the new ‘block of troublemakers’ in a crisis-driven, fragmented and increasingly polarised European Union (EU). However, the reality is much more complex and nuanced than this black and white image conveyed in Brussels and other EU capitals. There is thus a need to explain in more detail the Central European views and differences on a number of key issues that are likely to determine Europe’s future, including the Union’s response to the migration/refugee crisis, a potential Brexit, the leadership role of Germany, as well as the prospects for relations with Russia. In more fundamental terms, there is a need to shed light on the increasing perception of a growing schism between the EU’s ‘West’ and ‘East’ and the role of the upcoming Slovak EU Presidency, which aims to counter the increasing fragmentation between member states.

Speakers included: Janis A. Emmanouilidis, Director of Studies at the European Policy Centre (EPC), Adam Balcer, Project Manager for Eurasia programme at the WiseEuropa Institute in Warsaw, Dániel Bartha, Executive Director at the Center for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy in Budapest, Milan Nič, Research Director at the GLOBSEC Policy Institute in Bratislava, Martin Michelot, Director of the Global Europe programme and Head of Research at the Europeum Institute for European Policy in Prague