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The Visegrad Group Facing New Challenges

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in cooperation with the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Association of Hungarian PhD and DLA Students [DOSz] jointly organized a conference on V4 challenges under the framework of the Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrad Cooperation on the 4th of June. During the two panels, PhD and DLA students shared their research results with the audience.

After the opening remarks by Mr. Márton Ugrósdy, Deputy Director of IFAT, Ms Brigitta Pulay, Ph.D. student of the University of Pécs started the line of the presentations. Ms Pulay analyzed two successful transformations of the V4: the democratic transition and the European integration which could serve as best practices to be adopted by other countries as well when addressing the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Secondly, Mr Boaz Oyo Were, Ph.D. student of the University of Szeged hold a presentation, addressing the industrial innovation and economic growth of the V4 cooperation. Mr Were provided a comparative analysis of V4 countries regarding innovation capacities, R&D spending, and further made some policy recommendations how to foster economic growth. The last speaker of the first panel was Ms. Baya Amouri, who analyzed the legal challenges of the refugee crisis for V4 countries, and emphasized the institutional deficits of the European system, and the effects of media and political communication on migration regulations.

The first speaker of the second panel was Ms Katalin Bihari, Ph.D. from the University of Pécs, who addressed the 16+1 cooperation, and analyzed the Visegrád countries’ role in European foreign politics towards China. Ms Bihari analyzed the interests of the countries and pointed out the potential of the V4 to become one of the engines of the 16+1 cooperation. Mr Gergő Kocsis, Ph.D. candidate of the University of Pécs was the next speaker, whose research interest is election observation in V4 countries. Mr Kocsis elaborated on three challenges: the new electoral legislations, the role of media and lack of pluralism, and the interpretation problems by central electoral bodies in the electoral system.