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.
A bridge from North Africa to Europe to save the lives of thousands of people dying in the Mediterranean. What sounds like a concrete political decision to end the humanitarian catastrophe at Europe's shores is in fact the most recent art work by the Berlin-based Centre for Political Beauty. Interview with the Centre's Chief of Staff Cesy Leonard by Annamária Tóth
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.
Václav Havel used to say that his life was made up of a number of paradoxes. The life of the Czech Republic in its relationship with China is similar. It appears to follow a tumultuous path, mostly guided by ideological reasoning. The recent "reset" in the relationship with China, carried by left-wing governments, put the economy first but the situation could change in case of political alternation.
China and Hungary seem to live a honeymoon state. Business, as well as political interests, characterizes the current situation. Budapest wants China to consider Hungary as the gateway to Europe, and from Hungary, they can then further expand their presence regionally. Prime Minister Viktor Orban considers relations with China of great importance, while bilateral economic and trade relations are becoming increasingly close: a situation that causes mixed feelings among Hungary's neighbours and inside the EU institutions.
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.
In his latest book, Is the EU Doomed?, Jan Zielonka, Professor of European Politics at the University of Oxford and Ralf Dahrendorf Fellow at St Antony's College, analyses the future of integration in a crisis-ridden Europe. He talks to Annamária Tóth about the crisis and the way out, European integration without the EU and why the Juncker Commission should step down.