Re-thinking Slovenia’s Relations with V4
Re-thinking Slovenia’s Relations with V4
Our report Central Europe Fit for the Future: The Visegrad Group Ten Years after EU Accession, was presented in Ljubljana on 6th May, 2014 in cooperation with the Ministry of Foregin Affairs of Slovenia and Slovenian Association for International Relations (SDMO).
The report was initiated by the Central European Policy Institute (CEPI) and demosEUROPA-Centre for European Strategy.It has already beenpresented in Brussels, Bratislava, Prague and Warsaw.
One of the primary recommendations of the report is to begin a closer dialogue between the Visegrad Group and Austria, a statement which is obviously challanged by Slovenia, which is also ready for a closer regional cooperation with the V4.
The event was opened by Mr. Igor Jukič, Political Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia who mentioned in his speech that the vitality and importance of V4 is greater then ever before, therefore a cooperation would be beneficial for Slovenia.
Rainer Münz, Head of the Research and Knowledge Center, Erste Group Bank AG, Austria shared that „Central European countries should initiate structural reforms to move up on a value chain. If they don’t increase added value they will stuck in the middle income trap“.
For this we have to go beyond the economy. „Regional groupings of small countries can increase relative weight and help them to punch above their weight“. Slovenia is not member of any regional groupings like the V4 and is looking for exactly that.
Milan Nic, Director of CEPI, emphasized that „the current growth model of Central Europe, including Slovenia won’t give a chance for these countries to catch up with Western Europe and narrow income and GDP gap“. He also said that „our V4 perspective is inclusive and we are open for cooperation with Slovenia and Austria“.
Slovenia which is the only country which increased the gap of GDP per capita from the EU28 avarage is currently in a political crisis. The government stepped down on the 5th of May and there is little hope that it can find a sustainable way out of its economic crisis in the near future. Luckily, decision-makers are aware that they need to look for new ideas and alliances.
Ambassador Stanislav Vidovič, Head of the Department for European Policies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia called it a historical mistake when Slovenia missed joining the V4 because it believed that would have slowed down its own progress. „We should have been more humble“ said the Ambassador. Slovenia seems to be ready now. Ambassador Vidovic called for cooperation on a sectoral basis in the field of defence cooperation, including common procurements, energy security and improving transport infrastrucutre. He added „We are ready to join V4 and harmonise our positions prior to the European Council meetings„However, dampening expectations,Jiří Sýkora, a Visegrad expert said „Visegrad 4 won’t further institutionalize or expand in the foreseeable future.“ „Slovenia can offer more to V4 if it is part of a bigger package. Something that already includes Croatia or Austria“ added Milan Nic.
Whatever Ljubljana offers to participate in the partnership will receive great political interest by the V4, and can contribute to relaunching the original V4+ cooperation with Austria, Slovenia and Croatia with shared structural programs. However, for the time being, we don’t yet have to start referrng to the V5 or V6.
Central European Strategy Council is now GLOBSEC
Dear friends, thank you for visiting the official website of the Central European Strategy Council. Please, be informed that Strategy...
Announcement of the date of GLOBSEC 2016
After months of preparations, we move to another stage. Mark 15 – 17 April in your calendars and get ready...
GLOBSEC 2015 Executive Summary & Recommendations
The 10th Bratislava Global Security Forum, taking place in Slovakia from June 19–21, 2015, evolved against the backdrop of a...
GLOBSEC 2015 Was Attended by Major Global Players. It Breaks Records Once Again
The jubilee 10th edition of GLOBSEC is successfully over and there is a lot to be proud of. This year‘s list...