27 September 2006

V4

Sounds like a boy-band doesn’t it? In this case it's the acronym for the regional grouping of the four Visegrad countries namely Poland, Czech, Hungary and Slovakia. Their combined population exceeds the UK and their combined land mass is similar to France. Up until now, it has been perceived that each of these countries has ploughed its own furrow in the EU field. Following a summit of all four Presidents in Central Bohemia on September 15 this looks likely to change.

Drawing on a shared geography and recent experience with Communism and EU membership, it’s not surprising that they have shared goals. Referring to Europe, the region’s longest-serving statesmen, Czech President, Vaclav Klaus (a member of ODS) said (and I paraphrase)

“All four V4 Presidents think it makes sense to formulate positions, agree on them in advance and present them jointly and thus more loudly, where necessary”.

The other leaders expressed similar sentiments. The Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic (not related to Klaus despite the resemblance) added that the group could even expand its scope drawing in Austria, Slovenia, Romania and Bulgaria. I think this increased regional co-operation makes sense and could be a good sign for the Conservatives who should be working behind the scenes to gain more partners for our 2009 grouping. Mr Cameron, are you watching?

7 comments:

Croydonian said...

If it is, so to speak, the same Vaclav Klaus who declared 'The third way leads to the third world', could he be persuaded to do a transfer and sign for our team, please?

Ellee said...

Yes, it sounds good to work together like this, what does the Czech Rep, as well as the V4s, think about Bulgaria and Romania signing up to the EU?

Praguetory said...

I refer back to the last comment on the Justine Greeening post. An ODS activist alerted me to this.

http://www.leadershipacademy.cz

Note the Thatcher quote.

http://www.leadershipacademy.cz/londynske_isty.pdf

One of the photos on this little mag is of Mirek Topolanek (ODS PM) eating in an Italian in Trafalgar Square during the May 2005 election campaign! We've got them on board, we just need the others (Poland right-wingers may be a gamble too far) and Sarkozy.

Although there are concerns the political elite's in new EU are in favour of Rom/Bulg - anything else would appear churlish at best. Also, it shifts the centre of gravity Eastwards. As for the general population that's another question.

PETER M. said...

V4 is quite an unnatural grouping, although we share the same Communist experience and there have been some tendencies to look at the Central Europe as a whole, but it is very confusing. Vaclav Klaus has always shared this view. His current remarks just mean that in his presidential position (when being a head of state he needs to be "consensual") he has learnt how to live with it.
And with regard to Bulgaria and Romania, we (who are willing to re-establish EU as a free-trade area and dump all those bureaucratic nonsense and Anti-American stands) do agree with their accession. As well as with the accession of Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Ivory Coast...

Croydonian said...

PT - my ambitions were greater. I'd like VK to be in a Tory cabinet.....

PETER M. said...

Croydonian - Well, even if it is possible, I'm afraid I must say that his best political years are over. I don't mean that his thoughts and performance is not good enough or that he isn't in touch with today's politics. He certainly is! He is still very very bright and he far surpasses all the politicians not only in the Czech republic. But hopefully he will stay in the supreme position until 2013 and that will be the best way how to mark his career. No doubt Vaclav Klaus belongs among Top 10 World's Greatest politicians. At least from a conservative point of view...

Croydonian said...

Peter - sounds like you ought to hold on to him then..... Oh for more politicians fit to be members of the Mount Pelerin Society.