Visegrád Group

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The Visegrád Group, also called the Visegrád Four or V4, is an alliance of four Central European states – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – for the purposes of cooperation and furthering their European integration. The Group's name in the languages of the four countries is Visegrádská čtyřka or Visegrádská skupina (Czech); Visegrádi Együttműködés or Visegrádi négyek (Hungarian); Grupa Wyszehradzka (Polish); and Vyšehradská skupina or Vyšehradská štvorka (Slovak). It is also sometimes referred to as the Visegrád Triangle, since it was the alliance of three states at the beginning – the term is not valid now, but appears sometimes even after all the years since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

The Group originated in a summit meeting of the heads of state or government of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland held in the Hungarian castle town of Visegrád[2] on February 15, 1991 (not to be mistaken with Vyšehrad, a castle in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, or with town of Višegrad in Bosnia and Herzegovina).

The Czech Republic and Slovakia became members after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993. All four members of the Visegrád Group became part of the European Union on May 1, 2004.

Contents

Historical inspiration

The name of the Group is derived, and the place of meeting selected, from a meeting of the Bohemian, Polish and Hungarian rulers in Visegrád in 1335. Charles I of Hungary, Casimir III of Poland and the Bohemian king, John of Luxembourg, agreed to create new commercial routes to bypass the staple port Vienna and obtain easier access to other European markets. A second meeting took place in 1339, where the new king of Poland was decided upon and the Visegrád Three (V3) group was formed.

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