Visegrád co-operation was built on Visegrád on February 15, 1991, built on its medieval history. The initial aim of the co-operation with the then three members was to facilitate Member States' rapid accession to the Euro-Atlantic community.
Due to changes in the first half of the 1990s (the change of political system and the dissolution of the eurasian states), the international security environment has changed and in this environment it has been uncertain for years to undertake profound political and economic changes without extinction of human lives. In addition, following the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, two major aspects of military and state security policy have emerged in the states of the region: the immutability of the borders of the Visegrad countries and the withdrawal of Soviet military troops stationed in the states of the former Warsaw Pact.
For the EC / EU, the security and stability of the Central European region was essential, and this is in line with the willingness of the Visegrad countries to declare themselves at the dawn of political transition. Among the reasons behind the establishment of Visegrad's cooperation were the following:
- the objective is to eliminate the remnants of the communist bloc in Central Europe;
- the intention is to fight historical hostilities between the countries of Central Europe;
- the belief that joint efforts will make it easier for the political and social goals to be achieved;
- the similarity of the beliefs of the political elites about the future of the region.
On February 15, 1991, the Visegrad Declaration was issued.
After the collapse of Czechoslovakia in 1993 and the birth of the two successor states, the cooperation changed and began between four Member States. The goals of the Visegrad Group have not changed, and the first major step in the fulfillment of these goals took place in April 1999 when the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary were admitted to NATO. The European integration and the NATO membership of Slovakia had to wait until 2004. With this, the main goal of the establishment of Visegrad Cooperation was successfully achieved.
The successful integration process created a qualitatively new situation and led to higher standards of V4 cooperation. Starting from 2000 onwards, the establishment of the International Visegrad Fund will increase the intensity of cultural and social relations year by year. Over the period since 2004, it has also been shown that Visegrad Cooperation is also within the EU framework. The Heads of Government of the four countries renewed common goals in the New Visegrad Declaration adopted on 12 May 2004 in Kromeříž, Czech Republic. According to them, in the future, they are free from illusions, focusing on common interests, pragmatically trying to exploit the opportunities of joint action. The document also outlines the coordination mechanisms (political and sectoral, expert and top-level conciliation meetings).
Visegrad cooperation in practice
Visegrad Cooperation is co-ordinated annually by a rotating Presidency. According to the Presidency concept, for the first time between 1999 and 2000, the Czech Republic had occupied the position, followed by Poland, Hungary and Slovakia for a year. The significance of the Visegrad Group is also indicated by the fact that the political leaders of the four countries meet with their partners outside the V4 countries, the so-called V4 + framework since 2000 (usually several times in the Presidency). According to established practice, the Presidency's policy program is that the V4 member states are in agreement with each other, and the Presidency is responsible for designing and implementing it.
The cooperation of the Visegrad Group has become modern and has become natural in the sense of the word, it is not primarily characterized by large events, but rather on the practical details. Government cooperation is primarily carried out at expert level and operationally - in practice it means that the ministries of the four countries and other institutions are in close contact with each other, defining the practical tasks of cooperation and assessing its potential. With V4 cooperation, ministries are primarily responsible for foreign affairs ministries, including the so-called national V4 coordinators and their deputies.