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TRENDS OF VISEGRAD EUROPEAN POLICY

Pavlína Janebová Pavlína Janebová / Ed. 15. 11. 2021
TRENDS OF VISEGRAD EUROPEAN POLICY

The objective of the “Trends of Visegrad European Policy” project is to identify the views held on EU-related policy issues by those that design, influence, and implement this policy. It seeks to compare the views of foreign- and EU-policy communities in Visegrad countries.

Respondents (mainly civil servants, politicians, researchers/analysts and journalists) answered 22 questions regarding bilateral partnerships of the V4 states in the EU, EU membership and institutions, key EU policy issues, future of the European integration, EU external affairs as well as the Visegrad Group.

The results of the research are available in three forms:

Main Findings

  • Germany continues to be the most frequently mentioned important non-Visegrad partner in all four Visegrad countries, though relations are now perceived to be worse than two years ago in the case of Hungary and especially Poland.
  • The quality of relations between Visegrad countries is predominantly seen as “good” or even “very good,” with the exception of Polish-Czech relations, although the respondents often do not consider the Visegrad countries to be among each other’s closest allies in the EU.
  • Stakeholders in the region overwhelmingly consider EU membership to be beneficial.
  • Differentiated integration is seen as the most probable and at least somewhat beneficial scenario for the future of the EU across the Visegrad countries by the most stakeholders.
  • Coordination in the EU is seen by the majority of V4 respondents as a successful area of Visegrad cooperation, however, cooperation in the field of infrastructure is considered to be successful by slightly more stakeholders.
  • The overwhelming majority (over 85% in each case) of respondents expect environmental and climate issues, energy policy and the digital agenda to become more salient in the coming five years for the EU, and similarly, most respondents expect these issues to rise on their country’s EU agenda, as well.
  • The majority also expects the importance of the EU’s common foreign and security policy and its common security and defense policy to grow in the next five years and would even support the introduction of qualified majority voting in foreign policy.
  • EU enlargement and relations with the EU’s Eastern neighborhood remain high on the Visegrad countries’ agenda and the majority of stakeholders in all four countries would welcome the V4 itself doing more in these relations.
  • There is clear support for accepting the current candidate states from the Western Balkans into the EU in the next ten years.
  • Support for the sanctions policy towards Russia and rejection of accepting the annexation of Crimea remain the clearly dominant positions.
  • There is a significant shift compared to 2019 to a more optimistic direction in all countries regarding how relations may develop between the US and the EU in both economic and security fields under the Biden administration.
  • Caution regarding Chinese activities posing a threat both to the EU and the individual countries prevails.

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TRENDS OF VISEGRAD EUROPEAN POLICY
Pavlína Janebová, Zsuzsanna Végh Download
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Czech Republic 574
Eastern Partnership 92
Hungary 87
Poland 230
Slovakia 104
Visegrad Group 248
international security 278
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