The lecture’s purpose was to debunk a few „myths“ about Visegrad Four, especially in light of the current migration crisis in 2015, which appeared to solidify a common V4 voice in the European Union.

Rather than confirming this notion, Dr. Bilčík dispelled these „myths“ by addressing political, institutional as well as practical constraints of the Visegrad cooperation in the European Union. Even if the initial purpose ofV4 institution was first and foremost cooperation in the process of EU enlargement, this political cooperation never really reached its full potential, and these days the V4predominatly exists to facilitate cooperation in cultural matters (as the Visegrad Funds would suggest). The argument for the rather downplayed V4 political role can be nicely illustrated on the recent Slovak Council of the EU presidency in 2016, during which V4 cooperation was effectively sidelined due to Bratislava's managerial role in EU policymaking. 

In short, Visegrad cooperation primarily complements and constraints – rather than drives – country-specific preferences in the EU. At the same time, political events of 2017 and especially the question of the EU’s futureunderscore the importance of both structural and political differences across Europeanmembert states when it comes to both individual and collective commitments. Here the V4 could be used as a tool to enhance regional interests at the European Union level, where the V4 could potentially play a bigger role. 

Publication date: August 03, 2017