External activities – Public events
“Echoes of the EU – Western Balkans Summit: New beginning?”
The conference “Echoes of the EU – Western Balkans Summit: New beginning?” took place on Wednesday, 23rd of May 23, 2018, from 14:00 until 16:00 at the European Parliament. The event was organized by the Think Visegrad Platform in cooperation with Mr. Eduard Kukan, Member of the European Parliament (member of the AFET committee and chair of the Delegation to the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee, EPP/Slovakia).
The speakers discussed the developments in the region and the challenges of the enlargement process, in the light of the Sofia Summit, which took place a week earlier, on 17th of May 2018.
The event was moderated by Ms. Jana Juzová, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy and the keynote speech was provided by Ms. Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, Director for Western Balkans at the Directorate General for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations. Light refreshments were served after the event.
Following panel featured:
- Eduard Kukan (European Parliament)
- Anna Orosz (IFAT)
- Tomasz Zornaczuk (PISM)
- Genoveva Ruiz Calavera (European Commission)
In the second part of the conference, the MEPs present were invited to share their comments and remarks:
- Cristian Dan Preda (Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, Rapporteur for Bosnia and Herzegovina, EPP)
- Igor Šoltes (Vice Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee, Rapporteur for Kosovo, Greens)
- Alojz Peterle (Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee, EPP)
- Charles Tannock (Member of AFET, Rapporteur for Montenegro, ECR)
The event attracted more than 60 participants and featured a Director for Western Balkans at DG Near, 5 MEPs working on Western Balkans and various other stakeholders. The debate was very well received by our guests and speakers and the format of bringing together researchers, MEPs and the Commission is highly appreciated. The format followed up on a debate titled “The Western Balkans integration process: State of play in 2017”, organized by the TVB and MEP Kukan in a similar setting in 2017.
You can find the full report from the event and a gallery here.
“New Transatlanticism in Central Europe: The V4 and NATO in Question”
The event, organized in cooperation with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, took place at the Brussels Office of the GMF (Rue de la Loi 155, 1040, Brussels) on Thursday June 7th, 2018 (17:00 – 19:00).
The event was opened by Zuzana Stuchlíková (Head of Brussels Office, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy), moderated by Bruno Lété (Senior Research Fellow, GMF) and featured:
- Tomáš Nagy (Research Fellow, GLOBSEC Policy Institute, GPI)
- Daniel Bartha (Director, Centre for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy CEID)
- Elisabeth Braw (Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council)
Panellists discussed what the Alliance has brought the V4 countries, which celebrated between 15 and 20 years of NATO membership at the 2018 NATO Summit, and how it continues to be perceived today. They agreed that the V4 countries remain committed to long-term deterrence measures toward Russia but have had lackluster levels of defense spending and commitment in other frameworks — the EU, for example. This event explored the expectations of Central European countries from the next NATO Summit and beyond.
The event welcomed more than 70 participants from the EU/NATO Brussels scene and received very good feedback by the participants. A glass of wine was provided after the event.
You can find the report from the event and a gallery here.
“Chinese investments in Europe: Comparing perceptions across Western and Central Europe”
The conference, co-organized by the TVB and EGMONT The Royal Institute for International Relations, took place on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 (14:00 – 18:00) in the Egmont Palace, Brussels. The main aim of the conference was to take a closer look at the EU-China relationship regarding investments. The discussions tackled issues related to the scope and the political background of investments in the EU and covered the different perceptions of Central European countries involved in the 16+1 format.
The conference consisted of 2 panels – “Chinese investments: detailing the issue” and “Raising to the challenge: Comparing perceptions across Western and Central Europe”. The event was opened by a keynote speech by Mr. Philippe Duponteil (Head of China at the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission). Coffee break was prepared during the break.
The first panel „Chinese investments: detailing the issue“ was moderated by Mr. Thomas Renard (The Egmont Institute) and featured:
- Rudolf Furst (Institute for International Relations, Czech Republic)
- Amanda Rohde (Friends of Europe, Belgium)
- Weinian Hu (CEPS, Belgium)
The second panel „Raising to the challenge: Comparing perceptions across Western and Central Europe“ was moderated by Mr. Alexandr Lagazzi (EUROPEUM) and included:
- Tobias Gehrke (The Egmont Institute)
- Justyna Szczudlik (PISM, Poland)
- Rudolf Furst (Institute for International Relations)
The event was attended by over 60 people and was live-streamed online, where it recorded over 500 views and reached more than 1400 people. The event gained attention of the Clingendael Institute (Netherlands), which offered to publish its conclusions and contributions as a series featured in their online outlet, the Clingendael Spectator. Three articles were published:
EU-China Investments: Solving the 16+1 Equation by Alexander Lagazzi (EUROPEUM)
EU-China investments: Europe’s Strategic Interest by Amanda Rohde (Friends of Europe)
EU-China investments: Barriers to Market Access in China by Weinian Hu (CEPS)
You can find the full report from the event and a gallery here. Recorded first panel can be accessed here, the second panel then here.
“Regional cooperation and EU decision-making: impact of the Benelux, Nordic Council and V4”
The lunch time seminar on the formats and approaches to regional co-operation of the Benelux, Nordic Council and V4 and their influence of the EU decision-making process, was co-organized with the CEPS (Centre for European Policy Studies) on Friday, 19 October 2018 (12:00 – 14:30).
The event was opened by Zuzana Stuchlíková (Head of Brussels Office, EUROPEUM) and moderated by Steven Blockmans (Senior Research Fellow & Head of EU Foreign Policy, CEPS). Light lunch was served before the event.
- Alain de Muyser (Deputy Secretary General, Benelux)
- Petra Vargová (Deputy Permanent Representative, Slovak Permanent Representation to the EU)
- Matilda af Hällström (Adviser of the Nordic council in Brussels)
- Jakub Groszkowski (Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW), Poland)
- Piret Kuusik (Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, Estonia)
The event was attended by app. 70 people. You can find the report and pictures here.
“A New Deal for Emerging Technologies Where will the money come from in the new MFF?”
Think Visegrad platform and the Permanent Representation of the Slovak Republic to the European Union, which holds the V4 presidency organized a working breakfast titled „A New Deal for Emerging Technologies: Where will the money come from in the new MFF?“ on December 11, 2018 (8:00 – 10:00). The event aimed at highlighting the Visegrad perspective on the very topical issue of emerging technologies in the context of the new budget period 2021 – 2027. Discussion covered perspectives of the European Commission, private sector and V4 member states, as well as presentation of a recent study on the state of play of new technologies in the V4 countries
Welcome words were provided by HE Ms. Petra Vargová, Deputy Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the EU, followed by opening statements of Mr. Carl-Christian Buhr, Deputy Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Mariya Gabriel (Digital Economy and Society) and Mr. Patrice Chazerand, Policy Director at DigitalEurope.
Panel discussion was moderated by Ms. Zuzana Stuchlíková (EUROPEUM) and featured representatives of three of V4 countries (Czech representative had to cancel her participation on last minute due to illness):
- Radoslav Repa, First Secretary in charge of Information Society, Digital Agenda, Digital Single Market and Cyber Issues at the Permanent Representation of Slovakia to the EU
- Justyna Romanowska, Head of the Information Society and Telecommunication Section at the Permanent Representation of Poland to the EU
- Mihály Bajnóczi, Head of the competitiveness, growth, industrial policy, SME policy and tourism Unit at the Hungarian Permanent Representation to the EU
The event included presentation of a new study „Digital New Deal for V4: How do we stand with new technologies?” by Mr. Kryštof Kruliš (Association for International Aﬀairs, AMO), Mr. Máté Hajba (Free Market Foundation) and Mr. Martin Reguli (F.A. Hayek Foundation). The study was supported by the International Visegrad Fund and the Association for International Aﬀairs is an institute affiliated to the TV platform. A background paper on the topic was prepared for the purpose of the debate.
The event attracted 33 people and was organized as a working breakfast. You can find the full report and pictures from the event here.
Additional public event:
“Roots of Euroscepticism throughout Europe”
The panel was organized by the TVB within the Jubel European Democracy festival and took place on Saturday September 22, 2018 (13:00 – 14:30) in Leopold’s Parc in Brussels. Martin Michelot (Deputy Director of EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy) took on the moderation of the discussion, which also featured:
- Pavol Baboš (Assistant professor at the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts of the Comenius University, Slovakia)
- Leanda Barrington-Leach (Strategic Communications Coordinator at EEAS, Belgium)
- András Volom (Founder and President Sustainable Development Goals V4, Hungary)
The event attracted app. 25 people, despite unfortunately terrible weather conditions. You can find the report from the event and a gallery here.
External activities – Roundtables
“PESCO: What role for the V4 in developing European Strategic Autonomy”
The roundtable titled ‘PESCO: What role for the V4 in developing European Strategic Autonomy’ took place on Monday 9th of April 2018 (16:00 – 18:00) at the Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the EU. The expert roundtable aimed at bringing forward opinions and ideas from different actors within the EU, regarding contributions to the PESCO projects and the vision of European Strategic
The event, held under the Chatham House rule, was moderated by Mr. Martin Michelot (EUROPEUM) and included three speakers:
- HE Tomáš Szunyog, Deputy Head of the Czech Permanent Representation to the EU, Permanent Representative to Political and Security Committee
- Justyna Gotkowska, Researcher at the Centre for Eastern Studies OSW, Poland
- Gergely Varga, Associate researcher at Institute for Foreign Aﬀairs and Trade, Hungary
The expert roundtable attracted 31 guests (full capacity), among them representatives of EDA, European Commission (and EPSC), PermRep of France, Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary and others. You can see the whole report from the event and a gallery here.
“Path to EURO: The Future of the non-Eurozone Countries”
The event “Path to Euro – Future of the Non-Eurozone Countries” was organized by the Think Visegrad Brussels on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, 12:00 – 14:00 at Press Club Brussels Europe, Brussels.
The event, held under the Chatham House rule, was moderated by Mr. Vladimír Bartovic (EUROPEUM). Opening remarks were provided by Mr. Konrad Popławski (OSW) and Mr. Fabian Zuleeg, Executive Director and Chief Economist of the European Policy Centre.
The event featured 11 experts, which allowed for a vivid discussion. Recommendations drafted by the group will be then send out to MS and EU institutions representatives and are attached to this report.
You can find the full report and pictures here.
The TVB Newsletter was one of the key communication tools aimed at a wider audience, with the objective of raising awareness about the Think Visegrad platform within mainly Brussels-based stakeholders. The Newsletter introduced the project and its members, summarized TVB activities in the past and upcoming period, and reported on events and research fellowships. It was distributed to a database of more than 1000 contacts. Organizers opted for a bi-monthly periodicity in order to keep content fresh and report on new events and deliverables. The first newsletter was sent in March (covering January and February), followed by five more (March-April, May-June, July-August, September-October, November-December). In 2018, the emphasis was put on including news from the member institutes, bringing attention to their newest publications, events (if based in Brussels) and important announcements.
8 short-term research in Brussels
In 2018, the budget of the TVB project allowed for hosting representatives of all 8 Think Visegrad institutes. Edit Inotai of CEID, who was originally supposed to come to Brussels already in 2017, realized her research trip in May 2018. All the other researchers came to Brussels between June and November 2018. We have received highly positive feedback for this program feature, as it allows for conducting research directly in the EU institutions, which is otherwise complicated.
The output of the fellowship is a policy paper on issues of strategic interest for the V4 in relation to EU policy. The papers are published online on the Think Visegrad website and the websites of each partner and shared on social media and via newsletters. The support provided to the researchers by the TVB differed according to personal needs, comprising assistance with finding accommodation, identifying relevant stakeholders for interviews, setting up meetings, and hosting them at the office.
Following researchers completed a week long study trip to Brussels:
Edit Inotai (CEID) stayed in Brussels from May 28th to June 2nd . Paper titled “Is Germany too much for us?” is available here.
Tomáš Madleňák (SFPA) came to Brussels for the week from June 24th to 29th 2018, his paper is titled “EMU reform as a case-study for multispeed integration”.
Sejla Almadi (IFAT) underwent her research fellowship from July 1st to 7th 2018, her paper “Can the V4’s Priorities shape “Europe’s Priorities”?” can be found here.
Kamil Frymark (OSW) conducted his research in Brussels between September 24th and 29th 2018, his paper is titled “Germany and the V4: renewed cooperation opportunities in the new political context”.
Vladislava Gubalova (GLOBSEC) came to Brussels between October 15th and 19th 2018, her paper “What is Next for Central (and Eastern) Europe? Helping to shape the future of Europe” can be read here.
Daniel Šitera (IIR) stayed in Brussels from November 1st to 7th 2018, his paper “Finding a Visegrad Added Valiu in the New Cohesion Policy” can be found here.
Melchior Szczepanik (PISM) came to Brussels from 19th to 23rd November 2018 and wrote paper “Another successful Spitzenkandidat?”.
Botond Feledy (CEID) stayed in Brussels from 19th to 23rd November 2018, his paper “Cyber security and Sovereignty Two levels of digital autonomy can be accessed here.
Jana Jůzová (EUROPEUM) conducted her research in Brussels between November 26th and 30th 2018, and wrote a paper titled “Visegrad in the Western Balkans: Losing ground?”.