The Visegrad Group and Europe’s security system: a story to watch

Czech army vehicles being loaded onto lorries
Bucovice, Jan. 7, 2016: A Czech army unit departs for Lithuania to take part in a joint Visegrad Group and Baltic states military exercise (source: dpa)
  • The Visegrad Group helped overcome the Cold War divide in Europe
  • It also played an active role in updating the EU’s security strategy in the context of Russia’s growing assertiveness
  • The group is now often charged with becoming a “mini Trojan horse” for the Kremlin

There are two leading actors shaping Europe’s security system: NATO and the European Union. But there are also other, smaller players performing important roles. Undoubtedly, the Visegrad Group is one of them. Lately, however, its member governments have come to be perceived in Brussels and some European capitals as euroskeptic and veering away from European standards in internal policies. Under adverse scenarios, this perception could create political and security problems. The development warrants a closer look at how the Visegrad states have contributed to Europe’s current security system and what role they may play in the future.

Established in 1991, the Visegrad Group originally consisted of Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Since the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993, the group comprises four Central European states, often referred to as the V4.

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