The Central European region will continue to remain the engine of European growth, and this gives us self-confidence in the debate on the future of Europe, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in Pozsony, at a press conference held after the meeting of the foreign ministers of the Visegrád Four (Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland) on Thursday.

The head of Hungarian diplomacy described the atmosphere of the meeting as “positively confident”, and said that there is a good reason for this positive atmosphere. This is none other than that the economic growth figures of the last quarter have repeatedly proved that the Central European region will continue to remain the engine of European growth.

Mr Szijjártó pointed out that the economy in the Central European region is growing twice as dynamically as the European average, and this may give us well-earned self-confidence in the debate on the future of Europe.

The Hungarian Foreign Minister highlighted several points of the Pozsony talks. First he mentioned that time had proven that the Central European countries were pursuing the right migration policy when they decided to make the security of their own countries their top priority.

“It stands to reason that we insist on the political line that trouble should not be brought here, but instead help should be taken where it is needed”, Mr Szijjártó pointed out. He added it is important also for this reason that an agreement was reached at the meeting which specifically lays down what the grant provided for Libya – with a view to curbing flows of migration – will be used for. He added that he suggested to his partners at the meeting that they should consider a similar cooperation programme with Tunisia as well.

The Hungarian Foreign Minister also spoke about the fact that the countries of Central Europe stand together, stressing that Hungary will continue to stand with its Central European friends in all European debates. He highlighted that this is so also in the case of Poland today because they find the decision of the Council of the European Union adopted yesterday, which ordered another hearing in the procedure instituted against Poland under Article Seven, unfair and wrong.

“We believe this is completely unnecessary. We take the view that Poland has answered every question”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade pointed out.

Mr Szijjártó also spoke about the further enlargement of the European Union, stressing that both the countries of the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership can rely on Central European countries as they will continue to represent a pro-enlargement position.

Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcák described the meeting as constructive, and highlighted the importance of the specific agreements reached there. He mentioned as an example the common assistance provided by the Visegrád Four in the interest of resolving the problem of migration, for the purposes of which the four countries pledged EUR 35 million.

He pointed out that on Thursday an agreement had been reached on the utilisation of this sum: they will use the pledged funds for reinforcing the infrastructure of local border guard units, including the procurement of four vessels and the construction of a maritime coordination centre.

Tomás Petrícek, Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, which will take over the V4 Presidency from Slovakia next year, also welcomed the specific agreements reached at the meeting, and described the issue of the Western Balkans region as a common priority.

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz highlighted the common position of the four countries regarding the importance of the integration of the Western Balkans countries, and the fact that they had managed to confirm a common European position on the situation in Ukraine.