Budapest (MTI) – The Visegrád Four grouping of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia can only be strong and independent of external circumstances if they form strong ties amongst each other, Hungary’s parliamentary speaker said.
The V4 should be able to make use of these relations in a way that allows them to combine the strengths of their countries, László Kövér said in an interview which public television M1 aired on Friday evening.
The V4 encompass a market of around 60 million people, about the scale of a western European country with a population of 60 million, Kövér said, noting, at the same time, that the combined GDP of the V4 does not add up to equal that of such a western European country, like France.
But the four countries do, however, have enough combined strength and potential to present “a serious opportunity in terms of partnership with a country like Germany”, he said.
Kövér noted that over the last 25 years, the V4 countries had gone through both highs and lows on their paths of development. By now the four countries have learned to put aside their differences on matters that they “know they can’t find common ground on” and are able to focus on ones in which they have shared interests, the speaker said.
He said the V4 are also connected by their shared basic values and interests. There are binding elements between the four countries that inspire their governments to try to pursue pragmatic cooperation with the other three to promote their shared interests. “We’ve all understood that the European Union … is a terrain for a battle of interests,” Kövér said. So if the V4 join forces in this battle they can carry enough weight that the older, western European member states have to take them into account, he added.
Kövér said Hungary and Poland’s strong relationship was one that proved that it is possible for two peoples to get along while focusing on settling their differences, knowing that those can only be settled by working together.