- Opening DAY 2
11:00 – 12:15
Vision for Europe
Current crisis the world is going through has a specific taste for the EU, not only because of Brexit, but also because its unclear direction when it comes to two-track EU, democratic backsliding of the V4, demographic decline, future enlargement of Western Balkan and the East-West divide. This divide should be bridged with concrete actions and clear vision, where the Central Europe should not be forgotten. It is important to get out of the “Brussels bubble” and recognize the importance of the regions and people, who don’t see the benefits of the EU membership. The EU is like a family, there are differences, but that does not mean there are no bounds between its members. In this respect, it is also crucial to reconsider the decision-making process to make the EU a global player and prevent it is being played by others.
We need create positive discrimination – countries of periphery not necessary only central Europe but Balkan as well can begin to build up their own excellence to participate in common different projects. – Amb. Jakub Wisniewski
The disruption of sovereignty led to a process which we call Brexit. – Amb. Jakub Wisniewski
13:30 – 14:30
Leading Europe: Challenges and Expectations
The V4 is growing on political and economic power. It views the EU failed on several fronts and took the power from the Member States. But at the same time, the V4 calls for united Europe speaking with one voice with a lot of potential mainly in areas of research, digitalisation, single market and investment. Concerning the current political climate, the V4 aspires to get one of the top three positions in the EU for Central and Eastern Europe. Moreover, the European Council should be given more space, to act like a government of the European Union to assign the Commission, not vice-versa.
Our citizens do not seek simple answers or extreme solutions I believe, the prevailing feeling in Europe is not euro-scepticism but euro-pessimism. – H.E. Peter Pellegrini
The EU Council should be a coalition government of Europe. – H.E. Andrej Babis
- End of DAY 2
09:15 – 10:30
EU’s New Political Landscape
More fragmented political landscape in more uncertain world situates the EU in front of various challenges. Its internal division undermines in credibility outside, especially in the context of Enlargement and Neighbourhood policy. On the other hand, this division resulted in increased interest of the European citizens in European issues and attractiveness of European topics including climate change or digital revolution. That, however, should not prevent the EU to strengthen the role of communitarian institutions as well as the member states. It is important to stick with the principle of subsidiarity and our fundamental values and needs. At the same time, Europe needs to avoid nationalistic interpretations of the current issues, and rather connect the discussion of leadership to the one of political and strategic agenda setting.
“Don’t stigmatise people who are anti-mainstream as anti-European. If more and more represent anti-mainstream, it might become the new mainstream.”– H. E. Peter Szijjártó.
“One of the most important challenges for the EU is how to be a credible partner player.” – H.E. Tomas Petricek
“If we do not have a soft power in the region, how can we be a global power?” – H.E. George Ciamba
“Europe does need migration, we have declining demographic trend but we need to manage this properly according to our means and traditions. We need an EU border, we need to work with the origin countries and we need to digest some migration according to our values.” – Maria João Rodriguez
“Having strong member states, it does not mean we have weak communitarian institutions. We need to promote changes in this time. (…) It means to focus on crystallisation of competences executed at the national and communitarian level.” – Mikulas Dzurinda
“We should not overestimate each individual member’s competence to change things on their own.” – Daniela Schwarzer