Slovak PM Fico: Visegrad group ‘not black sheep’ of EU

Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico on Friday said Central and Eastern European members of the EU were “not [the] black sheep” of the bloc “just because we have a different opinion” on migration. Fico was speaking at a press conference following a meeting of the Visegrad group — Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland — in Budapest. The meeting was also attended by Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki, new Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán. They have all, to varying degrees, said no to the EU’s plans to distribute refugees across the bloc.

“I reject any criticism of us just because we have a different opinion about the [EU’s migration] quotas. We are not [the] black sheep,” Fico said through an interpreter, Reuters reported.

To read more, click HERE

Source: POLITICO

Zaradené v News | Zanechať komentár

The video from VYF 2017 is here!

The official video from the Visegrad Youth Forum 2017 is now available on our YouTube channel! If you want to relive the entire VYF 2017 experience, you can do so by watching a video showing the highlights of the sixth edition of the Visegrad Youth Forum. Enjoy!

Zaradené v VYF 2017 | Zanechať komentár

Thank you for your support in 2017! See you next year!

We would like to thank our partners and friends for their support in 2017 and would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We’re looking forward to seeing you in 2018!

PF 2018

Zaradené v News | Zanechať komentár

VYF 2017 – Day 3

On the third and final day of the Visegrad Youth Forum 2017, the participants took on the roles of real policy makers during the simulation of a NATO and Russia summit. Throughout the day, the participants held various negotiations regarding the current defence situation in light of the growing tensions at the Alliance’s eastern border.

Following the conclusion of the summit and the closing remarks of the President of the Euro-Atlantic Center Lucia Kaščákováthe participants of this year’s Visegrad Youth Forum were presented with a certificate and a gift bag. The participants, who filled out all the tests during the e-learning phase were presented with special gifts, as was the event’s most active participant as voted by the participants themselves.

We would like to thank the participants of this year’s Visegrad Youth Forum for making the sixth edition of the project a success! See you next year!

Zaradené v VYF 2017 | Zanechať komentár

VYF 2017 – Day 2

The second day of the Visegrad Youth Forum 2017 began with the event’s panel discussion titled “Defence cooperation: Mission (Im)Possible?”. The panel was introduced by Jaroslav Ušiak, the Vice Dean for International and Public Relations of the Faculty of Political Science and International Relations of the Matej Bel University. Speaking at the panel discussion were Ferenc Kalmár, Deputy Head of the Defence Policy Unit at the Ministry of Defence of Hungary, Miroslav Mizera, Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Defence at the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic and Jakub Kufčák, Research Fellow at the AMO Research Center.

Following the panel discussion, the participants joined their respective workshop groups for the first round of workshops about the future of the V4 in regards to the rising prominence of the Three Seas Initiative.

After a well-deserved lunch break, the participants and the organizers embarked on an excursion to the Training Centre Lešť, a specialized training centre of special units of the Slovak Armed Forces, as well as other special forces that are part of the security framework of Slovakia. By the end of the excursion, the participants presented the statements agreed upon during the first workshop session.

After an exhausting day, a traditional Slovak dinner at Koliba Stráže awaited the participants after the excursion. 

Zaradené v VYF 2017 | Zanechať komentár

VYF 2017 – Day 1

The Visegrad Youth Forum 2017 began with the official opening reception, which was held at the town hall in Banská Bystrica. The reception began with a cultural programme, which included a vocal performance by the participants coordinator Timea Ivanová, a traditional folk dance performance by the folk ensemble Urpín and a violin performance by Patrik Červený, the speakers coordinator of last year’s Visegrad Youth Forum.

Following the cultural programme, Július Tomka, the Governor of the Rotary International District 2240, and Branislav Kováčik, the Dean of the Faculty of Political Science and International Relations of the Matej Bel University both gave their opening speeches. Afterwards, Lucia Kaščáková, the President of the Euro-Atlantic Center gave her opening speech and gave a celebratory toast to officially get this year’s Visegrad Youth Forum underway.

After the reception, the participants had the opportunity to get to know each other during the ice-breaking night.

Zaradené v VYF 2017 | Zanechať komentár

The speakers at the Visegrad Youth Forum 2017

ferenc_kalmarFerenc Kalmár, Deputy Head of the Defence Policy Unit, Defence Policy Department of the Ministry of Defence of Hungary

Ferenc Kalmár earned a European history and languages major in both English and French at the University of Maryland University College in Casteau, Belgium. He also holds an M.A in national security and defence policy from the Miklós Zrínyi National Defense University in Budapest, Hungary, as well as an M.A. in international security and defence studies from the Jean Moulin University in Lyon, France. Following his studies, he worked as a research fellow at the Policy Planning Unit of the Secretary General’s Private Office at the NATO HQ in Brussels, Belgium, as the project manager for the Middle East and Balkans at the International Centre for Democratic Transition in Budapest, Hungary, and as a desk officer at the Department for Security Policy and Non-proliferation of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Between 2011 and 2016, he served as the Political-Military Affairs Officer at the Hungarian Embassy in the United States. He’s been serving as the Deputy Head of the Defence Policy Unit at the Defence Policy Department of the Ministry of Defence of Hungary since November 2016.

miroslav_mizeraMiroslav Mizera, Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Defence, Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic

Miroslav Mizera graduated from the Faculty of Political Science and International Relations of the Matej Bel University and also studied at the Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium. In 2012, he graduated from the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, as well as from the International Visitor Leadership Program in the United States. Additionally, he successfully completed expert courses at the NATO School Oberammergau, the Slovak National Defense Academy and the European Union’s European Security and Defense College. In the past, he worked as the Editor-in-Chief of the Euro-Atlantic Quarterly and served as Vice President of the International Youth Atlantic Treaty Association. Between 2010 and 2014, he served as Advisor to successive Deputy Ministers at the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic. Between 2014 and 2015, he held the post of Head of Secretariat for the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2016.In 2016, he served as Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic.

jakub_kufcakJakub Kufčák, Research Fellow, AMO Research Center and Member of the Supervisory Board of AMO

Jakub Kufčák holds an M.A. in German and Austrian Studies from the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Charles University in Prague, while also studying at the Free University in Berlin as part of the Erasmus exchange program. In 2013, he finished a one-year program in security studies (the Robinson-Martin Security Scholars Program) at the Prague Security Studies Institute. He also completed an internship at the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Security and Defence of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. Furthermore, he is a contributing editor for the Czech “Portál odborných studentských textů”, an online academic journal for students. Since May 2017, he has been participating exclusively in educational and research projects and was named Member of the Supervisory Board of AMO in the same year.

Zaradené v VYF 2017 | Zanechať komentár

The Baltics to make their debut at the Visegrad Youth Forum

The Visegrad Youth Forum (VYF) makes its traditional return to Banská Bystrica, the “Heart of Slovakia”. VYF 2017 will take place between December 6 and December 8, 2017. Participating in the event will be young academics and experts from the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and, for the very first time, from the Baltic states. This year’s edition of the Visegrad Youth Forum will be held under the auspices of Ivan Korčok, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.

The Visegrad Youth Forum is a unique project with the goal of creating a platform, which would connect young participants from all V4 member countries with the knowledge of the attending experts on the topics of defence cooperation not only in the Visegrad region, but in the entire Euro-Atlantic framework, as well as on the future of Visegrad cooperation considering the ever-changing regional and global situation. For the very first time ever, participants from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will directly participate in the project. Furthermore, the project aims to encourage and further strengthen the public debate about the importance of the Visegrad Group, its current state, as well as the direction the group is heading, mostly regarding common foreign and security policies.

The sixth edition of the Visegrad Youth Forum will be attended by public figures and experts representing not only the governmental, but also the non-governmental field. Representatives of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic have confirmed their attendance at the event. Each V4 member state will be represented with a speaker at the event’s panel discussion.

Aside from an intensive and interactive workshop, the programme of this year’s Visegrad Youth Forum will be highlighted by its panel discussion titled “Defense cooperation: Mission (Im)Possible?”, which will focus on defence cooperation not only among V4 member states, but the current state, as well as the future of defence cooperation as part of Euro-Atlantic structures.

The forum will be capped off by a simulation of negotiations between NATO and Russia, during which the event’s participants will be put into positions of policy makers and state leaders trying to reach a consensus on the topic of the strengthening of the eastern border of the Alliance. The simulation will take place in the Center of Crisis Management (CEKR) at the Faculty of Political Science and International Relations of the Matej Bel University.

A rich cultural programme will also be part of VYF 2017, including a visit of the Training Centre Lešť, which mainly focuses on the training of special units of the Slovak Armed Forces, as well as other special forces that are part of the security framework of Slovakia. The participants can also look forward to a cultural evening, during which the participants will be divided into groups and will be tasked to present the culture of their native country.

The Visegrad Youth Forum 2017 is a project organized by the Euro-Atlantic Center in cooperation with the Faculty of Political Science and International Relations of the Matej Bel University. The sixth edition of the Visegrad Youth Forum is supported by the International Visegrad Fund, the Public Diplomacy Division of NATO, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, the city of Banská Bystrica and the Rotary Club Banská Bystrica.

Zaradené v VYF 2017 | Zanechať komentár

V4 – Brazil meeting in Budapest

Santiago Irazabal Mourão, Undersecretary General for International Cooperation, Trade Promotion and Cultural Themes of Brazil, paid a visit to Hungary on the occasion of the III. Hungary – Latin – America Forum (15-17 November 2017) and the related fourth meeting of the Hungarian-Brazilian Joint Economic Commission. This also provided the opportunity for a consultation between Brazil and the Visegrad countries, which was chaired by Mr. Szilveszter Bus Deputy State Secretary for Opening to the South. The meeting clearly showed the importance that Hungary attaches to one of the most influential countries in Latin America, and also signaled a growing interest and attention that Brazil pays to the region with one of the best performances in Europe.

The Brazilian partner spoke highly of the Hungarian government’s “Opening to the South” strategy that had been lunched in 2015, of Hungary’s growing presence in Latin America, and praised the special focus that the Hungarian Presidency of the V4 Group puts on the global relations of the Visegrad Four, especially the ones with countries outside of Europe. This Brazil-V4 foreign affairs and trade policy meeting was perfectly aligned with this global focus, and gave the chance to cover all current and potential new areas of cooperation and common interest.

To read more about the meeting, click HERE

Source: Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrad Group

Zaradené v News | Zanechať komentár

VYF 2017 supported by its host city, Banská Bystrica

We are excited to announce that the Visegrad Youth Forum 2017 is supported by the city of Banská Bystrica. Furthermore, we are pleased to announce that the official welcoming reception, the annual opening ceremony of the Visegrad Youth Forum 2017, will be held under the auspices of Mr. Ján Nosko, the mayor of Banská Bystrica.

Fotka Visegrad Youth Forum.

Zaradené v VYF 2017 | Zanechať komentár