Visegrad Group

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Visegrad Group

An informal grouping consisting of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Leaders meet to discuss common issues. The group administers a scholarship fund and a working group on energy policy. It was established in 1991 following the end of the Cold War.
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The Visegrad Agreement served as a mechanism to encourage collective cooperation and integrative thinking.
In Slovakia, former Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar strongly endorsed the Visegrad Agreement, but he faced strong opposition in the Slovak Parliament because of his strident anti-Hungarian policies, charges of corruption (e.
The Visegrad Agreement was constantly modified to meet the concerns of specific interest groups, especially those in agriculture and large state-owned industrial enterprises, including labor unions.
The Visegrad Agreement (whose provisions followed general principles established by the World Trade Organization) called for the liberalization of customs; reductions in imports, fiscal payments and export payments; and, reductions in both exports and internal taxes that have a discriminatory impact on trade.
Regarding trade liberalization, the Visegrad Agreement was divided into three categories.
As significant as the Visegrad Agreement appears to be, it nonetheless encountered serious problems with regard to its implementation.
Unfortunately, due to protectionist tendencies stemming from nationalism neither integration of automobile manufacturing, and the airline sector, nor efforts to attract foreign investment were mentioned in the Visegrad Agreement.
The Czechs, led by Vaclav Klaus, constituted the greatest obstacle to the implementation of the Visegrad Agreement.
Despite its push for compromise, Poland was never the driving force behind the Visegrad Agreement.
Agriculture received special attention in the Visegrad Agreement because it plays an important role in the economy of each member of the Visegrad Group.
The Visegrad Agreement functioned as a transitional accord to prepare those countries for full membership in the EU.
The Visegrad Agreement provided the framework for integration, a form of "training," by which member states could resolve long-standing historical-cultural as well as political-economic problems, and coordinate their economies to prepare for entry to the EU and NATO.