The Visegrad 4 is a regional institution comprised of Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. The four states cooperated together in 1989 to coordinate a plan to transform their countries from Soviet economies and political system into democracies. Their end-goal was to be accepted into the EU and demonstrate that the V4 countries future was aligned with the West and NATO.
Many observers firmly believed that following 2004 EU enlargement, regional institutions (such as the V4) would not exert any influence within the EU political framework, but that was not the case. The V4 continued to work together on regional projects throughout the 2000’s. But the V4 emerged within the EU during the 2015 migration crisis. The V4 countries all aligned under an anti-migrant stance, voted, and argued together against migration quotas. The strength of the V4 was that all four governments, and the V4 citizens all aligned under the issue of migration making collaboration easy. Since September, the V4 have become a powerful voice within the EU, with the V4 now also aligning their positions in regards to the potential Brexit. However, some observers speculate that the actions of the V4 are largely motivated in dividing the EU forcing reform. Alternatively the V4 may be simply attempting to gain influence in an institution that has largely been dominated by Western Europe.
A large trend of the V4 has been its inconsistent presence in the political spectrum, as the institution only appears to work efficiently if the governments and citizens all align on a singular issue. But has the migration crisis created enough of a platform for the V4 to cooperate within the EU in the long-term? Or will the V4 simply fade again as it has in the past.
I am half Australian half Polish student studying at ANU in Canberra. Throughout my life I have lived in various countries, often moving to a new country every 3-4 years. So far I have lived in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Denmark, Ghana and Poland. Currently, I am an intern at the Centre for European Studies in Canberra. In my spare time I enjoy watching sports and coaching one of the University football teams.