Nevskaya Anastasia
Are the Visegrad countries independent players in European politics and economics?
Publication Type:

ISSN 2074-6040

DOI 10.33920/vne-04-2111-03

The article examines the degree of independence of the Visegrad Group countries in the European Union in terms of economic prerequisites and actual implementation. It has been suggested that the countries of the Visegrad Group, having reached a certain level of economic prosperity and diversified their foreign economic relations, began to strive to play a more independent role in making integration decisions in the EU, including on issues of basic common European values. This hypothesis is tested on the example of the negotiation process of the EU countries on the adoption of the MultiYear Financial Plan for 2021-2027 and the creation of a Next Generation EU Fund to work together to tackle the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The main directions of the negotiations, the positions of the participants and the general results are analyzed. Particular attention is drawn to the fact that Poland and Hungary have succeeded in achieving ambivalent language on the issues of linking the allocation of funds to member countries with their provision of the rule of law and observance of other democratic principles. It is shown that in practice the European Commission still does not abandon this linkage. It is concluded that during the EU membership, the Visegrad Group countries have succeeded in demonstrating their economic capabilities, and their ability to influence the solution of common European issues has increased, but the real degree of autonomy of the Visegrad countries within the EU has not reached a qualitatively new level, including and due to contradictions in the positions of countries within the bloc itself.

Keywords: European Union | Visegrad Group | Poland | Hungary | Czech Republic | Slovakia | regional integration | multilateral negotiations | EU Next Generation Foundation |

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