Visegrad Youth Declaration 2014

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The Declaration of Students Representing the Political Leaders
of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Hungary,
the Republic of Poland and the Slovak Republic
at Visegrad Youth Forum 2014’s simulation of V4 Summit

29 November 2014, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia


Participants of Visegrad Youth Forum 2014, acting as Ministers and repesentatives of the
Czech Republic, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Poland and the Slovak Republic met
in Banská Bystrica for an annual meeting, where they discussed current issues and future
challenges of the V4 region.


We, students acting as representatives of the positions of V4 countries, are highly motivated
to represent our countries and, by way of this declaration, express our stance regarding V4
cooperation. We consider the V4 to be a unique regional cooperation in Central Europe that
has the potential to become a more visible and respected partner within the EU under the
condition of achieving a consensus in its positions. This common position should be achieved
through internal cohesion as the Visegrad region shares common values and history,
therefore representing even further potential for cooperation.


Discussions were held in four working groups and goals were achieved when discussing the
major topics facing the region – firstly regarding Ukraine and their common position toward
the Ukraine crisis; secondly about our common need for the protection of our airspace and
our common cooperation in military issues, thirdly about energy and cyber security of the V4
region. The last working group dealt with the economic agenda of the V4.


Humanitarian help for Ukraine


In regards to humanitarian help for Ukraine, we declare that citizens of V4 countries feel
deep solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Therefore V4 authorities are willing to donate a
single payment of 500 000 € for this purpose. The republic of Poland shall donate 200 000 €
and Slovak Republic, Czech Republic and Republic of Hungary shall provide 100 000 € each.
This financial help to Kiev will be sent under the condition that it will be used to provide the
highest possible level of humanitarian help to all regions of Ukraine. By accepting this
financial transaction, Kiev agrees to disperse humanitarian help among all people living on
its territory, thereby including the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.


Ukraine’s participation in the V4 Battlegroup


On the matter of the possible membership of Ukraine in a V4 Battlegroup, according to our
best knowledge and conscience, we do not see Ukraine as a possible member of the V4
Battlegroup. The fact that Ukraine is not a member state of NATO plays a negative role in its
possible integration, since the V4 Battlegroup is a small deployment force under the
auspices of NATO, and thus it is not appropriate to include Ukraine at this moment.


Joint protection of airspace of the Visegrad group


During negotiations, the need for joint protection of airspace that should be based on a
technical platform was declared. We definitely decline a political platform of cooperation.
The military bases would be located in the geographical middle of the region and established
on existing bases. The protection of airspace would be guaranteed by a military unit in which
every country provides its own planes. The unit would be created on the basis of each
country’s capability. We agreed on the need for building a common awareness system that
would monitor the common airspace, as well as the possibility of cooperation with other
countries that could contribute to the quality of protection. The agreement of joint
protection has a big potential for the Visegrad group countries and could become the
platform for cooperation on a higher institutional level.


Energy security


Our main focus should be the diversification of energy sources. V4 countries are heavily
dependent on the flows of gas and oil from Russia. Therefore we need to support the
projects that would help us in lowering this dependence and diversifying our exporters. At
the same time, we must continue building important infrastructure for energy
transportation, which would primarily connect all of the member countries, as well as our
strategic energy partners.
This network of pipelines would be crucial in times of various crises and would greatly
contribute to the development of the V4 region. As a second point, we should place greater
focus on diversifying our sources of energy within our territory. We possess a great number
of less effective coal power stations, mainly in Poland, which should be replaced with
“greener” and more efficient energy power stations. A solution to this might be in the
construction of a new nuclear power plants as a very powerful and green energy resource.
On the other hand, Poland has one of the biggest shale gas reserves out of all V4 countries.
Taking advantage of these reserves would greatly lower the regional dependence on Russian
gas. Therefore, we need to find the right balance between “green” energy and very
expensive, but in the long-term very advantageous, shale-gas exploitation.


Cyber security


On the matter of Cyber Security, we declare that the key aim should be the gradual
formation of a V4 Cyber Task Force, under the auspices of NATO, our main defense and
military partner. The reason is to increase regional defense against new threats, which could
at the same time increase our competitiveness. In order to increase its effectiveness, we
need to be cooperating with an already established Center of Excellence in Tallin, Estonia,
which could provide us with the knowledge and experience the V4 region needs.
Another important aspect is cooperation with the private sector, which is the most affected
by cyber threats, and therefore has the most interest in protecting itself. This cooperation
could be very effective mainly in terms of sponsoring. The next topic we emphasized on is
raising of the public awareness about the cyber security issues. Cyber security is a new area
of national security and we need to deepen our cooperation in terms of education and
research.


Economic cooperation and education


In the field of economic cooperation between V4 countries, efforts were mainly focused on
the topic of infrastructure, youth unemployment and finding the ways to support small and
medium size businesses within the V4 region. All representatives agreed that we should
cooperate on a greater scale and try to find ways to help each other in solving common
problems that we have to deal with. We all agreed that the V4 region should not develop an
economic integration structure, because it is irrelevant in the current political and economic
climate. However, we agreed that the V4 should be used as a discussion forum to share our
experiences and information in various fields.
In the field of infrastructure, we all agreed that the need to connect our capital primarily by
way of highways, while also realizing the importance of other transportation methods e.g.
pipelines, LNG terminal (northern Poland), which will reduce our independence on gas from
Russia.


When discussing youth unemployment, we agreed that one of the main problems is in
education. We need to invest more into the education system in every country, as more
educated people could bring more investments to our countries. One possible solution could
be to increase the budget of the Visegrad Fund for education programmes. The universities
in our countries should cooperate between each other at a greater level, and a rotation of
students and professors would likely increase the level of education in our countries.
An additional issue is the insufficient level of cooperation between the private sector and
universities. Students, after completing their degree, cannot find a job in relevant areas to
their studies. This is the main topic that the V4 should discuss, as it is also a priority within
the EU. Think-tanks, NGOs and experts that could offer other points of view should be
involved in this discussion.


Our common idea on how to help medium-sized enterprises and poorer regions is to
organize an economic summit with the support of every country of the V4. It should take
place in the regions that are the most disadvantaged in comparison to other regions in the
country. We chose Košice for the first round, because of its location and because of the
presidency of the Slovak Republic in the Visegrad Group. Eastern Partnership countries,
Western Balkans countries and of course the delegates of small businesses (Chamber of
Commerce) should be invited. This summit would be a place where potential foreign
investors would find positive conditions for their investments.
We students from the V4 countries are satisfied with our outputs from this meeting and we
expect that this cooperation will continue and deepen in the future.


(NOTE: This declaration is addressed to our representatives to inform them of the opinions of Visegrad youth
and should serve as recommendation material.)

Visegrad Youth Declaration 2014 (.pdf)