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Szydlo’s talks in Budapest

February 10th, 2016

A new kind of partnership has emerged in which the countries of the Visegrád Four (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic) have a chance to bolster their voice in a divided Europe, proclaims Magyar Idők, while Népszabadság suspects Poland has something much bigger in mind.

Common sense has united Central Europeasserts Magyar Idők in its editorial entitled ‘Visegrád is on the Map Again’. The newspaper published its article on the resurrection of the V4 cooperation the day after a visit by Prime Minister Beata Szydlo of Poland to Hungary. The first step to build this new coalition was to mend broken ties between Hungary and Slovakia, the pro-government daily suggests, and speaks of ‘a new era of pragmatism’ in which Robert Fico, a Social Democrat, and the right-wing Conservative Viktor Orban were able to find common ground in recognizing their best national interests. The new Polish government only strengthens what the author calls the ‘Warsaw–Bratislava–Budapest axis’.

These ties have become all the more beneficial, Magyar Idők claims, with an intensifying migration crisis in Europe, which has brought to the surface fundamental differences between the way of thinking in eastern and western Europe. ‘We are not a European superstate, and that’s good’, Zoltán Kottász writes. Budapest, Warsaw, Bratislava and Prague have now been given a chance to bolster their voice in Europe, the article declares. All that is needed now is to take this opportunity.

Népszabadság, in its op-ed piece also underlines how the migration crisis has united the countries of a region that is very much divided on other issues (such as the conflict in Ukraine). On the other hand, the left-wing paper suspects Poland of trying to forge a regional lobby that would reach far beyond the limited scope of Visegrád cooperation: it would spread from the Baltic to the Adriatic and the Black Sea. A nice concept, Népszabadság admits, but the author warns that all this only makes sense within the European Union, since the much needed development funds will come exclusively from one direction: from the West.


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