Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Reviving the V4 alternative in Central Europe

By Paweł Piotr Styrna | February 7, 2017


Editor's Note:  The Visegrad Group, also called the Visegrad Four, or V4 is a cultural and political alliance of four Central European states – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – for the purposes of furthering their European integration, as well as for advancing military, economic and energy cooperation with one another.  RK

Many Western Europeans ask: Why antagonize Moscow, thereby sacrificing comfort and relatively cheap natural gas, by defending second-class Europeans? But the answer is that, together, the V4 countries have 64 million inhabitants, which puts them in the same ranks as some of the most populous states in Europe — such as the UK, France, and Italy (all with populations in the sixties) — and seventeen million short of Germany’s 81 million. Similarly, the combined economies of the V4 nations constitute the fifth largest economy in Europe and the twelfth largest in the world.

Central and Eastern Europe are currently stuck in a very unenviable position — one could say “between a rock and a hard place” — which, sadly, happens to be a recurrent theme in its history.
To the east, Putin’s post-Soviet Russia is on a revisionist, neo-imperial rampage enabled by Obama’s appeasement and weakness.

Ukraine and Georgia have already been invaded and deprived of territories, while the Balts and the Poles feel increasingly threatened. Western European nations are unwilling to support their eastern brethren. Why antagonize Moscow, thereby sacrificing comfort and relatively cheap natural gas, by defending second-class Europeans?

What is more, Berlin and Brussels have been attacking the conservative governments in Warsaw and Budapest. The EU project itself is stalled and adrift, weakened by the Eurozone debt crisis and rejected by British voters in the “Brexit” referendum (although perhaps that’s better than an overbearing continental super-state that anti-nation-state Euro-bureaucrats hoped to turn it into).......To Read More...

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