Friday, October 25, 2013

Visegrád Group

In 2004, the Czech Republic (and 9 other countries) joined the European Union.  However, before it joined the EU it joined the Visegrád Group.

The Visegrád Four is an alliance between ČR, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.

Back in 1335 there was a meeting in Visegrád between the rulers of Bohemia, Poland and Hungary, to create new commercial routes and gain easier access to other European markets.

In 1991, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary formed the Visegrád Group to eliminate the remnants of communism in Central Europe and to overcome historic animosities.  It became the Visegrád Four once Czechoslovakia split in to ČR and Slovakia in 1993.    

The presidency of the group rotates each year in June.  The International Visegrád Fund was established in 1999 and today it has an annual budget of €7 million.  It is used to fund joint projects in the areas of culture, the environment, defense, transportation, tourism, energy and information technology.

Collectively, the group makes up Europe's 7th largest economy.  The 14th largest in the world.  

This also helps explain why so many of the products I buy at the store are all labeled in Czech, Slovak, Polish and Hungarian.

Update:  The V4 celebrated its 30th anniversary.

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