Mr. Márton Schőberl, Director-General of the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade represented Hungary at the roundtable discussion on the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the Visegrad Cooperation which was held in the capital of the United States, in Washington, DC.
John Hopkins University, which is the world’s 10th best university according to the top higher education institutions ranking list of Times magazine, hosted the very popular event. The panel discussion was moderated by Daniel S. Hamilton, former Deputy Secretary of State for European Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, currently director of John Hopkins’ Centre for Transatlantic Relations. From the side of the Czech Republic, the current holder of the rotating presidency of the V4, Mr. Libor Rouček, former MEP of the European Parliament and the president of the „V4 Eminent Personalities” group introduced the report with the title of „Visegrad 25 years after” that was drafted by the group. Slovakia was represented by Mr. Pavol Demeš, former Minister of Foreign Relations of Czechoslovakia, former Slovakian presidential chief advisor and the senior researcher of the Marshall Fund. From the Polish side Mr. Wojciech Gizicki, associate professor of the Institute of Political Science and International Affairs of John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin participated in the roundtable discussion.
The Director-General of the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade elaborated on the Hungarian position and further presented his views on the role of the Visegrad countries with a special emphasis on the pan-European challenges such as the questions of migration, Brexit and the economic-financial situation from the perspective of IFAT, which maintains an intensive relationship with its V4 partners. He also touched upon why the Visegrad Cooperation is exceptionally important for Hungary, what kind of role could this regional grouping have in the revitalization of the European Union, and what function the cooperation may have in the future.
At the forefront of the inquiry of the extraordinarily active audience - which was composed of university researchers, students and experts of different think-thanks – were the relationship between the Central European countries and the U.S. and Russia, the Central European responses to the challenges posed by migration, the economic performance of the V4 and the V4 brand in itself.