Benefiting on travel and tourism together. These are the goals of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia They are part of the Visegrad Group (also known as the “Visegrad Four” or simply “V4”) They reflect the efforts of the countries of the Central European region to work together in a number of fields of common interest within the all-European integration.
Member countries had always been part of a single civilization sharing cultural and intellectual values and common roots in diverse religious traditions, which they wish to preserve and further strengthen.
All the V4 countries aspired to become members of the European Union, perceiving their integration in the EU as another step forward in the process of overcoming artificial dividing lines in Europe through mutual support. They reached this aim in 2004 (1st May) when they all became members of the EU.
Poland currently is holding the presidency of the Group and hosted a high-level meeting to address the opportunities and issues in sharing tourism.
“For Chinese tourists traveling to Europe, Kraków, Prague or Budapest are very similar, popular destinations. The question is how to package a good tourist product for them, ” said Dawid Lasek from the Polish Sport and Tourism Ministry.
The V4 was not created as an alternative to the all-European integration efforts, nor does it try to compete with the existing functional Central European structures. Its activities are in no way aimed at isolation or the weakening of ties with the other countries. On the contrary the Group aims at encouraging optimum cooperation with all countries, in particular its neighbours, its ultimate interest being the democratic development in all parts of Europe.
The Visegrad Group wishes to contribute towards building the European security architecture based on effective, functionally complementary and mutually reinforcing cooperation and coordination within existing European and transatlantic institutions.
In order to preserve and promote cultural cohesion, cooperation within the Visegrad Group will enhance the imparting of values in the field of culture, education, science and exchange of information.
All the activities of the Visegrad Group are aimed at strengthening stability in the Central European region. The participating countries perceive their cooperation as a challenge and its success as the best proof of their ability to integrate also into such structures, such as the European Union.