The meeting of the Polish, Hungarian, Czech and Slovak heads of government in Budapest also focused on issues concerning the European Union, of which all four countries are members.
Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki, Hungary’s Viktor Orban, the Czech Republic’s Andrej Babiš, and Slovakia’s Robert Fico brainstormed topics such as the future of the EU, migration policy and the bloc’s new budget when they met in the Hungarian capital on Friday.
Regional issues tackled by the four leaders included a plan to establish a joint development bank for the four Central European countries, which together form the regional Visegrad Group (V4), officials have said.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has told public broadcaster Polish Radio that such a bank would help finance joint infrastructure projects undertaken by the four partner countries.
'Strong Europe of integrated and sovereign states'
Speaking during a panel discussion on the future of Europe in Budapest on Friday, Morawiecki said that his “vision of Europe” was one of “a very strong Europe of integrated and sovereign states; a Europe of homelands that has its common goals and perhaps one day will also have a common army.”
Morawiecki added that "strong countries in Central Europe also mean a much stronger Europe as a whole.”
Meanwhile, Hungary’s Orban said that Europe needed to be "redesigned" because some of its previous goals have not been carried out, according to a report by Poland’s PAP news agency.
The Czech Republic’s Andrej Babiš said, as quoted by PAP, that EU member states needed to be given more influence in the European decision-making process, while the European Commission needed to be “depoliticised.”
Slovakia’s Fico said that "V4 is a region where we have record achievements in terms of unemployment and economic growth." He added that officials in Brussels should “listen to us, our experiences, and how we feel, and, above all, listen to what the 65 million citizens we represent have to say.”
Morawiecki began his visit to Budapest with placing flowers at a monument to Gen. Józef Bem, a national hero of both Poland and Hungary. He also stopped at a plaque commemorating Poland’s assistance to Hungary during an anti-communist revolt in that country in 1956.