A Fait Accompli in the V4

The “Hungarianisation” of Czech Central European Policy

17 January 2019

Since 2015, the Visegrad Group (V4) has acquired the image of irritants and trouble makers in European politics and the media, and there are three key sources for this distancing of the V4.

Firstly, Czechia, Hungary, Slovakia and, after the 2015 general elections, Poland have been very critical of the way the so-called refugee crisis in the EU was tackled. They rejected the compulsory relocation scheme for asylum seekers and argued that Angela Merkel had made a mistake in deciding Germany would accept migrants expelled from Hungary in September 2015.

Moreover, some leading politicians from the Visegrad Group also rejected the very idea of Western European multiculturalism and argued that such policies would not be acceptable in their countries. Furthermore, the Visegrad Group adopted its own policies to manage migration – for example, closing the Balkan Route in spring 2016 – which undermined the EU’s common efforts.

Viktor Orban (Left) and Andrej Babis (right)

In sum, the way the V4 dealt with the so-called refugee crises of 2015–2016 has been perceived in terms of a lack of solidarity with refugees and other European Union member states.

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Vít Dostál

Research Center Director at the Association for International Affairs (AMO)

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