The Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) is a major pan-European democratic exercise whose topics cover a range of issues crucial for the future of the EU - among others the role of the EU in the world and the climate change and the environment.
This policy paper addresses the role of the Visegrad states within the CoFoE in these topics – namely their potential for cooperation with other European regions, as well as with international cooperation and the sharing of good practices regarding the climate agenda.
The authors evaluate the challenges linked to the CoFoE in relation to the rather limited extent to which the Visegrad Group’s civil society organisations are able to participate in domestic consultation processes. In order for the V4 states to benefit from the CoFoE, its stakeholders must overcome its limits and focus on designing new partnerships. The Visegrad states have the potential to play a proactive role in drawing the Western Balkan states into the CoFoE and act as a bridge between this region and the EU, especially in the context of the climate agenda.
As the V4 states themselves are rather climate-lukewarm and lack an overarching long-term political strategy for decarbonisation, there is the potential for collaboration among more climate ambitious V4 stakeholders (municipalities, academia, private sector etc.), for instance with stakeholders from the Nordic states, and the Western Balkan states, that are active in areas of common interest, such as just transition, forestry, transport, and institutional leadership. These 4 topics are also evaluated in the paper.