Visegrad

Politics 27-05-2022

Slovaks rush to Hungary for cheap gas as ‘petrol tourism’ era ends

After the government in Budapest announced it will only allow cars with Hungarian license plates to buy petrol for capped prices at the country’s petrol stations, motorists from neighbouring Slovakia rushed across the border. Meanwhile, petrol station owners warn the...
Politics 27-05-2022

Slovak customs snowed under by trains crossing Ukraine border with goods

Slovak customs are currently overwhelmed by the increase in trains carrying goods crossing the Ukrainian border as Russia’s blockade on ports has forced Ukraine to deliver goods via train instead. Trains with goods were stuck at the borders due to...
Politics 27-05-2022

Poland could double army size thanks to voluntary service, says minister

Voluntary basic military service is such a tempting option that Poland will be able to double the size of its army, said Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak. Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Polish government began talking about its plans...
Politics 27-05-2022

Czech EU presidency to be plagued by limited travel links

Czechs who need to travel frequently due to the upcoming EU Council presidency in June will likely face flight problems as only one company currently operates two direct flights from Prague to Brussels Zaventem airport. Brussels Airlines currently flies twice...
Politics 26-05-2022

Polish opposition demands more power for regional governments

Four opposition parties signed a declaration on Wednesday calling for more financial muscle to be handed over to local authorities as opponents of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party eye next year’s municipal elections as a chance to take...
Politics 26-05-2022

New Slovak anti-inflation package sails through parliament with far-right help

The new anti-inflation package worth €1 billion proposed by the ruling OL’aNo party was adopted by the National Council on Wednesday with the help of far-right deputies after part of the ruling coalition refused to back the bill. The package,...
Politics 25-05-2022

Orbán amends constitution, proclaims state of emergency

On the day the new government took office, the ruling Fidesz-controlled Hungarian parliament amended the constitution allowing Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán to proclaim a state of emergency on the same day. On Tuesday (24 May), the Hungarian parliament approved...
Politics 25-05-2022

Slovakia faces brain drain as many leave for Czechia

Two-thirds of young Slovaks aged 18-25 want or are already studying abroad due to the quality of education, with most of those who already left having picked neighbouring Czechia, a new survey has found. In the past 15 years, more...
Politics 25-05-2022

Czech EPP vice-president hopeful calls for leadership renewal

The European People’s Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament has lost its visibility and its leadership needs to be renewed, Czech EU lawmaker Tomáš Zdechovský – who wants to run for vice-president of the political family – told EURACTIV.cz...
Politics 25-05-2022

Polish company fails to deliver drones to Ukraine

Polish company Level 11 did not deliver 200 drones ordered by the Ukrainian forces despite having received payment in advance, TVN24 TV station reports. Taras Troiak, a businessman from Kyiv responsible for ordering drones for the Ukrainian army, signed an...
Politics 24-05-2022

No progress in democracy and EU values in Hungary, Commission says

The European Commission had few positive words to offer about democracy and respect for EU values in Hungary following a hearing on the drawn-out Article 7 procedure on Monday (23 May). Article 7 outlines procedures for suspending certain rights from...
Politics 24-05-2022

Proposal for Slovak election-based TV quotas met with criticism

Setting up quotas for the participation of politicians in TV discussions based on election results, as proposed by the Former Slovak Prime Minister and current Finance Minister Igor Matovič, draws backlash from coalition partners, journalists and NGOs. Matovič (OĽaNO) proposed...
Politics 24-05-2022

Czechia only country to ask EU asylum agency for help with Ukrainian refugees

Czechia is the only country from Central and Eastern Europe to have requested help from the EU’s Agency for Asylum (EUAA) to deal with the massive influx of refugees from Ukraine, the EUAA has confirmed. Since the start of the...
Politics 24-05-2022

Oslo rebuts Morawiecki’s claims of benefiting from Ukraine war

Norwegian Foreign Minister Eivind Vad Petersson rejected Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s accusations that his country benefits from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Norwegian public broadcaster NRK reported. During the Nationwide Congress of Youth Dialogue on Saturday, Morawiecki criticised Norway for its increasing...
Politics 23-05-2022

Hungarian agri minister backs supporting Ukraine’s grain exports

The Hungarian government is working hard to help Kyiv sell grain abroad, said Agriculture Minister István Nagy, who described the instability of Ukraine’s grain export in light of Russia’s invasion as an “emergency”. “We have an emergency situation, I can...
Politics 23-05-2022

Poles to be granted ‘special status’ in Ukraine

Poles in Ukraine will be granted “special legal status” similarly to the one Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s war receive when entering Poland, according to a draft bill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has promised he would submit to parliament. Polish President Andrzej...
Politics 23-05-2022

Owners of Russian companies in Czechia changed citizenship

Of the 9,582 companies in the Czech Republic with Russian ownership, dozens have changed their citizenship since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine to avoid sanctions or outflow of clients. As news site Seznam Zprávy reported, 154 owners of...
Politics 23-05-2022

Former Slovak FM: Ukraine must attack Russia and take back Crimea

Ukraine can defeat Russia and even regain control of Eastern Ukraine and Crimea, said former Slovak Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš, noting that anything other than the military victory of Ukraine would be a dangerous compromise. Mikloš is the former advisor...
Politics 20-05-2022

Czechia’s Babis visits voters in caravan trip, says it’s no ‘campaign tour’

Former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš still refuses to say whether he is preparing his presidential campaign for next year’s elections although he was seen going across the country in his caravan to meet voters. Czech media this week were flooded...
Politics 20-05-2022

Poland to receive most EU funds for helping Ukrainian refugees

The European Commission will grant Poland €144.6 million from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund for helping refugees from Ukraine, while Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia will receive €39 million, €27 million, €21 million, and €15 million respectively....
Politics 20-05-2022

Ukraine war hits Slovak economy hardest in EU

The Slovak economy suffered the most out of all EU countries from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to a comparison of the February and May macroeconomic forecasts of the European Commission. GDP in Slovakia for 2022 is expected to...
Politics 19-05-2022

Poles begin universal basic income experiment

The Association of Warmia and Mazury Borderland Communities will distribute a monthly 1,300 PLN (€280) to thousands of Poles to measure how a universal basic income impacts their lives. The monthly income will be distributed across 5,000 to 31,000 beneficiaries...
Politics 19-05-2022

Hungarian Constitutional Court quashes opposition referendum

Despite previous greenlights from parliament and the Supreme Court (Kúria), Hungary’s Constitutional Court blocked referenda on controversial Chinese university investment and unemployment benefits. In a decision announced on Wednesday (18 May), the Constitutional Court, widely considered by its critics to...
Politics 19-05-2022

Orbán’s new ministers chart EU policy focused on funds

The new ministers assuming office in the reelected Hungarian prime minister’s cabinet are set to focus on EU funds in their relationship with Brussels while attempting to course-correct the bloc’s values. Tibor Navracsics, who served as European Commissioner for Education,...