In the Visegrád countries, traditional Armenian cross-stones (or khachkars) are silently countering Azerbaijan’s major role as a future gas provider to the EU. The diaspora-funded activities often obtain local governments' support for their seemingly unharmful nature. However, the khachkars have the potential to subtly and enduringly change the public’s perceptions in the V4, whose governments are seen as crucial drivers behind the EU’s Eastern Partnership.
The Visegrad countries’ total ODA flows have increased impressively between 2007 and 2014, the main recipients of which are those Eastern Partnership states which directly border the EU, especially Ukraine. The Visegrad Group’s joint aid programme focusing on the EaP countries - the “Visegrad 4 Eastern Partnership” - funds specific projects related to the development of civil society in the EaP states. A strengthening of the common Visegrad framework for the coordination of development assistance efforts would be possible in order to channel development assistance in a more efficient and integrated manner.
Though the Hungarian minority in the West of Ukraine is not the largest one in the country, it could still play a crucial role during the current crisis in Ukraine. The minority’s quests could become an asset for Russia. The far-right Jobbik (the third largest party in Hungary financed by Russia) has already shown its will to get Ukrainian Transcarpathia back. This ambition is highly unrealistic; nevertheless, it could, in theory, lead to more separatist discourses, which would weaken the country even more.
The Visegrad Group countries displayed an unprecedented degree of cooperation during the Brexit negotiations. But not only the interests of the V4 countries are affected by this. Studies confirm that the inflow of Central and Eastern European workers benefits the British welfare state. The section on social benefits and free movement of the Brexit deal is therefore not only undermining the integrity of the European Union, but also directly damaging the British economy.
The four Visegrad states — “condemned to cooperate” due to high stakes regarding UK social welfare benefits — were seen as a major obstacle to the British EU reform proposals. This helped their group’s branding; and their own Euroscepticism might now be mollified by their negotiation success.
Trade relations are a fundamental dimension of international economic ties, furthermore they have been widely regarded as a cornerstone of peaceful and prosperous interstate relations by thinkers like Mill or Schumpeter. The following article scrutinises the development of trade relations between Great Britain and the Visegrad Group in the light of the recent “Brexit” debate.
It has now been 26 years that Hungary opened its borders to refugees from the German Democratic Republic (GDR), thus making a first step towards German reunification. Ironically, fences at Hungary's borders are now putting relations to her most important economic partner to a severe test. Commentary by Daniela Neubacher.
The Baltic countries were one of the worst hit countries during the Great Recession. Despite numerous predictions about the likely failure of their anti-crisis policy – internal devaluation – the Baltic States have managed to preserve currency pegs, restore fiscal sustainability and return to economic growth. Nevertheless, this fast adjustment should not be taken for granted in the future. The crisis experience speaks to the importance of fiscal policy, trust in government, and safeguarding against excessive indebtedness.
This article aims to glance beyond the legal and administrative dimensions of EU enlargement and integration and examine conceptions and expressions of identity, suggesting the possibility that, although it is always difficult to judge success and failure in foreign policy making, the notion of identity, if approached with caution, can provide with useful hints for understanding challenges in external and internal EU politics. In this light, a few years down the line, what challenges has enlargement posed to the EU in terms of identity?
Recent forecasts about the state of the Latvian economy in 2014 are largely optimistic and predict that the Baltic country will maintain its position among the top-performing EU nations this year in terms of economic growth. Many commentators have highlighted the importance of Latvia’s recent accession to the euro zone for its continued post-crisis recovery in 2014. However, apart from facilitating progress towards the Baltic nations’ medium- and long-term economic goals, the euro zone also poses a number of important challenges to national and European policy-makers.