In their ongoing quest to shape majorities on EU policies, Germany and France both have an interest in anchoring the Czech and Slovak governments in their respective camps.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel travels to Bratislava this week to meet with the Visegrad Group. This is the first high-level meeting between Merkel and her V4 counterparts since 2016.

It happens against the backdrop of widening gaps on the overall direction of the European Union, on the development of democracy and the rule of law in Hungary and Poland, and the controversy between Berlin and Central and Eastern European capitals over the EU’s migration and asylum policies.

No doubt, the exchange between Chancellor Merkel and the V4 in Bratislava – Slovakia holds the Presidency of the V4 in 2018/2019 – is highly important. From a Berlin perspective, despite manifest differences on EU policy, there is a strong interest in keeping the V4 countries engaged.

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Almut Moeller & Milan Nic

Report

Over the past several years, it has become ever more apparent that the post-Cold War era of democratic reform, socio-economic development and Western integration in Central Europe is coming to an end. Five scenarios for 2025 map possible futures for the region and encourage a debate on the strategic directions.

Visegrad Insight is published by the Res Publica Foundation. This special edition has been prepared in cooperation with the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Download the report in PDF