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Thursday, 11 September 2008

Meeting of the Presidents of the Visegrad Group Countries

On 11 September 2008 in the evening, President of the Republic of Poland Mr Lech Kaczyński and Mrs Kaczyńska set off for Piestany in the Slovak Republic to attend a Meeting of the Presidents of the Visegrad Four.

On 12 September 2008, the President of RP and the First Lady participated in the official welcoming ceremony. Subsequently, President Lech Kaczyński took part in the 1st Plenary Session. Upon its completion, the Presidents of the Visegrad Four and the First Ladies departed for a luncheon hosted by the President of the Slovak Republic.

During the bilateral session, the President of RP met with the President of the Republic of Hungary.

In the evening, the Presidential Couples attended in Bratislava a concert marking the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Eugen Suchon and took part in an official dinner hosted by the President of the Slovak Republic and Mrs Gašparovič in honour of the Presidents of the Visegrad Group Countries and the First Ladies.

On the third day of the visit to the Slovak Republic, the President of RP participated in the 2nd Plenary Session and in the ceremony of unveiling commemorative plaques bearing the names of the Presidents of the Visegrad Group Countries at the fountain on the Irma Health Spa courtyard. Thereafter, a press conference of the Presidents of the Visegrad Four was held.

The President of RP made the following remarks: 

“I would like to thank Mr President Ivan Gasparovic and Mrs Gasparovic for such exquisite arrangements made for this meeting. Indeed, the Visegrad formula has been operating for fifteen years and in spite of the difficulties, it does stand the test. We have had very detailed discussions on many issues starting from the visa regime and ending with the fundamental problems related to our relations with Russia. Obviously, Poland principally maintains her position as it was. We were looking for points of convergence where it would be possible to reconcile and express our respective positions. As a separate state, Poland continues to say what it was saying before. This concerns the Eastern dimension of the Neighborhood Policy. And here we also represent a joint position. I would also venture to add that there is a kind of a disproportion between the funds earmarked to the southern neighborhood and the eastern one. This certainly constitutes a problem. A very crucial problem is also what I term as democratization of the European Union in the development of relation between the old Member States and the new ones, the big Member States and the smaller ones. This subject will certainly come under discussion next year in Sopot for this is the venue where I invited the Presidents to attend the following session of the Visegrad Four”.

The Presidential Couple returned to Poland on 13 September in the afternoon. 
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