WORLD / EUROPE
30th Anniversary of the Visegrad Group celebrated with a passionate piano concert in Beijing
Published: Mar 17, 2021 01:40 AM
Wojciech Zajaczkowski (right), Polish ambassador to China delivers a speech. Photo: Dong Feng/Global Times

Wojciech Zajaczkowski (right), Polish ambassador to China delivers a speech. Photo: Dong Feng/Global Times


 
The 30th Anniversary of the Visegrad Group (V4), a cultural and political alliance in Central Europe, is celebrated at the Polish Embassy in Beijing on Tuesday. Michal Ciesielski, a jazz pianist, played eight piano pieces for the guests. 

Hosting more than 100 guests, Wojciech Zajaczkowski, Polish ambassador to China, delivered a welcome speech. 

"From a 30-year perspective, the Visegrad Group became not only one of the symbols of the new united Europe and a successful political and economic transformation of the countries of the region, but also an example of effective format of regional cooperation within the European Union. The difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic proved this on multiple occasions," Ambassador Zajaczkowski said. 

Poland holds the rotating presidency of the group on the period from July 2020 to June 2021.

"It is a great honor that this important anniversary took place during Poland's rotating presidency, and big pleasure to host you in the Embassy for this celebration," he said. 

On February 15, 1991, the Presidents of Poland and Czechoslovakia and the Prime Minister of Hungary, signed a declaration of cooperation for the realization of European integration at the Visegrad Castle in Hungary.

The declaration provided a political framework for extensive cooperation and close ties for the three countries: Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. The group increased to four after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, and Czech Republic and Slovakia becoming independent members. The initial goal of cooperation was to strive to fully restore national independence, democracy and freedom, establish a market economy, and fully integrate into the European political, economic, security and legislative systems. 

As the member states of the Visegrad Group successively joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union, it marked the successful end of the first stage of the development of the alliance and the beginning of new cooperation.

The member states of the Visegrad Group have deep friendship and extensive good neighborly cooperation. The Visegrad Group is not only about political cooperation. One of the iconic symbols of the group's cooperation is the International Visegrad Fund, an international donor organization, established in 2000, said Ambassador Zajaczkowski.

So far, the Fund has issued nearly 2,400 scholarships and supported nearly 6,000 non-governmental organizations, local governments, scientists and artists, mainly in the V4 countries, as well as projects part of the Eastern Partnership and in Western Balkan countries.


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