Visegrád/United Kingdom – The British may have left the European Union but they are not losing interest in Europe. While British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is leading talks about a possible alliance with Poland and Ukraine against Russia, Polish-born Conservative MP Daniel Kawczyński said in an op-ed published by Remix News on 27 January that he was in favour of a strong alliance with Hungary, Czechia, Poland, and Slovakia.
“The Visegrád Group is a triumph of European partnership”
In his op-ed, the Conservative MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham notes: “The Visegrád Group is a triumph of European partnership.
Its four member states — Poland, Hungary, Czechia and Slovakia — have supported each other’s common interests for centuries. These four nations also represent ideal partners for our country, Great Britain, as we enter a post-Brexit world.
(…) The Visegrád nations’ once ironclad political partnership with Germany is faltering and now, post-Brexit, it is in Britain’s utmost interest to act decisively. We can position ourselves as the key Visegrád partner by engaging our significant military and energy industries.
Direct engagement with Visegrád countries may now be the surest way for Britain to return its influence to continental Europe.”
The twelfth largest economy in the world
And Kawczyński reminds us that “If counted as a single entity, Visegrad would be the twelfth largest economy in the world—nearly equivalent to Russia itself.
Military cooperation also on the agenda
Perhaps because of the crisis unfolding in Ukraine, Kawczyński goes beyond enhanced economic cooperation and also considers cooperation in the field of defence: “[The Visegrád Group] is on the front lines of Europe’s escalating rivalry with Russia. The Russian-Belarusian harassment of the EU border, via an artificial migrant crisis in Poland, is a recent example of growing demand for military support in the region.
When Brussels failed to deliver adequate support, help arrived from Britain. Britain’s armed forces, and world-class armaments industry, is in a position to positively contribute to the Visegrád Battlegroup’s defence needs.”