On Monday, June 19, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán delivered a speech at a ceremony in Warsaw, Poland ahead of Hungary’s ascendency to the rotating presidency of the Visegrád Group beginning on July 1, 2017.

Standing alongside the leaders of fellow Visegrád Group countries Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Prime Minister Orbán commended Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło for her country’s presidency of the V4 and praised cooperation among the four countries in the face of unprecedented regional and global challenges.

"Central Europe today shows itself to be a region which is full of vitality, which has common goals, and which comprises countries that are eager to act,” proclaimed Prime Minister Orbán, adding, "I would like to thank all three of my fellow prime ministers for having provided Hungary with assistance in the defense of its borders over the past two years.”

The Prime Minister also highlighted that the Visegrád Group has been invaluable in the protection of Europe’s southern border and in the debate over the future of the European Union serves as an outstanding example of the strength that is derived from cooperation among strong nation states

"The four of us have succeeded in defending not only the borders of Hungary, but also the southern borders of Europe. And had these four countries not acted in unison, hundreds of thousands would still be charging, unimpeded, towards the safe life of the European peoples,” said the Prime Minister.

The Visegrád Group was founded in 1991 by Hungary, Poland and what was then Czechoslovakia to advance the European integration of its members and promote military, economic and energy cooperation among them. Today, the V4, comprising a population of 63 million and some of the continent’s strongest GDP growth, has become an important force in the most important issues confronting the European Union.

Hungary will hold the rotating presidency of the Visegrád Group for one year from July 2017 to June 2018 and will seek to prioritize increased regional V4 and V4+ cooperation, a more dynamic NATO more readily capable of tackling the threat of global terrorism, and increased dialogue and integration of the Western Balkans under the Euro-Atlantic political-economic umbrella.

A comprehensive list of Hungarian priorities as well as the program of the 2017-2018 Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrád Group is available HERE.