Press Advisories

3. 2. 201613:48

Extraordinary Prague Summit of V4 countries to be attended by Macedonia and Bulgaria

Besides the Prime Ministers of Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, the Extraordinary Visegrad Group Summit to be hosted by Prague on 15 February 2016 will also be attended by Gjorge Ivanov, the President of the Republic of Macedonia, and Boyko Borissov, the Bulgarian Prime Minister, at the invitation of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. The migration crisis, including V4 cooperation with the countries of the Balkans, and further opportunities to assist those states currently bearing the brunt of migratory pressures will be central to the Summit’s discussions. Another item on the February Summit’s agenda will be the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Visegrad Group.

“I have also invited the leaders of Bulgaria and Macedonia to the extraordinary V4 summit, where one of the key themes will be the migration crisis in Europe. I believe it is important for the leaders of those countries to be involved in the V4’s joint discussions on assisting with border protection against illegal migration. We urgently need to reinforce the external protection of the Schengen border, set up a common European Border and Coast Guard as soon as possible, and launch the measures agreed to regulate migration in Greece and Turkey. If these measures are not introduced quickly, I believe that one of the possible solutions will be to reinforce border protection between Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece. V4 and other EU countries could actively help those states to reinforce border protection. Strengthening the protection of Macedonian and Bulgarian borders could also – with those states’ cooperation – drastically curtail migratory pressures faced by countries such as Austria and Germany. The Czech Republic stands ready to continue providing the Western Balkans with specific assistance, either in the form of humanitarian aid or by deploying police officers,” said Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.

Czech police officers are currently actively involved in protecting borders in Slovenia and Macedonia. At the Summit, the Visegrad Group countries will also coordinate their common positions ahead of the European Council in Brussels on 18 and 19 February. The V4’s February Summit in Prague will also commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Visegrad Group. The Prime Ministers will take stock of a successful quarter-century of cooperation in the Visegrad region and will also discuss the group’s prospects as it looks to the future.

The Visegrad Triangle was formed on 15 February 1991 at a meeting between the Hungarian Prime Minister József Antall, the Czechoslovak President Václav Havel and the Polish President Lech Wałęsa in Visegrád, Hungary. At that meeting, they signed a declaration of close cooperation between the three Central European countries on their path towards European integration. Following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the alliance was renamed the Visegrad Group.