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Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Presidential Summit of Visegrad Group


The opinion of the Visegrad Group on NATO's New Strategic Concept is uniform, although there are discrepancies concerning the approach to possible changes to the Lisbon Treaty, as the summit of presidents of the group’s member states demonstrated on Saturday.


On Friday and Saturday, in the largest Czech spa city of Karlovy Vary, Bronisław Komorowski met with several presidents: Václav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic, Pál Schmitt, the President of Hungary, and Ivan Gašparovič, the President of Slovakia.

During a joint press conference held on Saturday, Komorowski emphasized that the presidents of the Visegrad Group are of identical opinion as regards NATO's New Strategic Concept, which is to be adopted at its November's summit in Lisbon.

"I am deeply satisfied with this," he remarked. He added that he considered the discussion of the four presidents concerning NATO's New Strategic Concept very promising. In his opinion, the discussion revealed that there is significant consistency, if not complete, regarding the opinion of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia on the proposal of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO, concerning the new concept of NATO.

For Poland, it is important that the new strategic concept confirms the importance of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which discusses the solidarity of NATO's member states in the case that one of them is attacked.

Komorowski announced that, during the summit in Lisbon, the issue of the possibility of Georgia and other countries joining NATO will be discussed. He emphasized that the opinion of Poland in this case remains clearly positive.

He added that Poland is open to discussion concerning changes to the Treaty and remarked that the EU has to draw conclusions from the crisis. "The condition of public finances and the economic situation in particular EU member states influence the economies of all other European countries," he said.

Energy-related issues were also discussed during the summit. Komorowski reported that the leaders present considered possible elements of a joint policy regarding energy.

"The most important task here is to integrate the transfer systems so as to make it easier for each country to make use of alternative supply sources and to ensure that the price connected with using a given supply is as good as possible," he emphasized.

He remarked that there are many positive changes concerning this issue, recalling that an energy transfer system has been established between Romania and Hungary, and that the construction of an interconnector on the Polish-Czech border is at a very advanced level.

The four presidents also discussed the upcoming Polish and Hungarian presidency over the EU. Hungary is to take presidency over the Community in January and Poland is to take over in the second half of 2011.

"This will make it possible, for the entire year, to carry on performing tasks connected with integration related to energy issues. We want to make this the subject of Hungarian-Polish cooperation," Komorowski stated.

He also stated that another challenge the Visegrad Group faces is the struggle to maintain a cohesion policy in the EU.

He also announced that he will be visiting the leaders of the member states of the Group.

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