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17. 2. 2021 18:42

The prime ministers of the V4 countries discussed the fight against Covid-19 and mutual cooperation in Krakow

The Prime Ministers of the V4 together with the President of the European Council Ch. Michel, 17 February 2021.
The Prime Ministers of the V4 together with the President of the European Council Ch. Michel, 17 February 2021.
On Wednesday, 17 February 2021, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Andrej Babiš, attended the V4 Summit of Prime Ministers in Krakow, Poland, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Visegrad cooperation. The guest of the summit was the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. The main topics of the meeting included the evaluation of cooperation within the V4, the fight against Covid-19 and cross-border digital projects.

The summit began with a plenary session dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Visegrad cooperation, which was also attended by the President of the European Council Charles Michel. The prime ministers looked back on the cooperation so far and discussed further possibilities. "I am very happy that we have a great relationship within V4. I would like to emphasise that the V4 is not a political bloc, the V4 is an economic bloc – 65 million of our citizens – whose interests we are fighting for. Of course, together, we are also fighting for Europe's interests. We care about the success of Europe," said Andrej Babiš.

During the working lunch, which was also attended by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, the Prime Ministers of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic focused mainly on measures against the spread of Covid-19, vaccines and the vaccination process in the EU. "The vaccine is the only solution to this trauma. That is why I regret that the European Union has negotiated very well and believed that pharmaceutical companies would be reliable but, unfortunately, those deliveries were delayed. We hear that manufacturers export the vaccine outside the EU, even though it is manufactured in the EU, and still license its export. These are the things we have discussed that must end. We need the vaccine really fast, we need to vaccinate quickly," added the Czech Prime Minister.

The V4 heads of governments also discussed the effects of current measures against the spread of coronavirus on international trucking, especially at the German border. "It is a huge problem for our companies. We also discussed this with Austria, and Slovakia and Hungary did the same. We informed Charles Michel and asked him for help, because the conditions set for our drivers are extremely strict. We must hope that this problem will be solved soon, because it is not possible to cripple international transport in general, to cripple industry and other productions," said Babiš.

Subsequently, the Prime Ministers solemnly signed an annual declaration outlining the areas of focus of the future cooperation and commemorating the establishment and current role of the V4. The second signed declaration deals with cross-border digital projects of the V4 states. In the afternoon, the summit focused on digital cooperation. The prime ministers mentioned 5G networks, cyber security or the digitisation of health care.

Finally, the prime ministers participated in an interactive discussion panel on the topic of the "Gaming industry in the V4 region", to which representatives of the industry also joined online. The Czech Republic was represented by one of the founders of the successful Czech development studio SCS Software, Pavel Šebor.

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