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A Three-day International Webinar & Conference on Visegrád Four: Three Decades since Transition
May 18 - May 20
Much has happened in the Visegrád countries – Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and
Slovakia since the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. Having successfully completed
the systemic transition from closed authoritarian socialist systems to open democratic market
economies, all four countries joined the European Union (EU) in 2004. The countries have
experienced remarkable economic growth with low unemployment rates. Poland for instance
was the only country in Europe to have escaped recession during the 2008 economic crisis
that ravaged most economies and is also better placed than most after the pandemic.
However, since then and particularly over the last decade, the Visegrád Four (V4) are also in
focus for taking positions on many issues that challenge the Union’s view. Democracy,
immigration and asylum, gender and gay rights are to mention a few.
In their external relations, the Visegrád Four have since 2010/2011 focused beyond Europe
and the immediate neighbourhood to Asia. V4 leaders like Orbán categorically stated the
need to concentrate and develop relations with this part of the world since it has emerged as
the pivot of economic growth and development. This shift is of particular interest for us in
India as our foreign policy too is actively seeking new partners and cultivating existing
Except for Poland the other three appear at ease with Russia and Putin, and have championed
better relations with Russia. Though in 2014 they did go along with the EU’s imposition of
sanctions following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, but they were also openly critical of the
sanctions and questioned their efficacy. In the current Ukraine-Russia standoff, this region
has once again become critical.
It is in the context of these developments – the commendable distance the Visegrád Four have
covered since the collapse of communism, and the increasing tensions in the supranational
EU as the V4 assert their interest that the Centre for European Studies, School of
International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University is organizing a three-day International
webinar on “Visegrád Four: Three Decades since Transition”, between May 18th & 20th,
2022. The third day will be organized as a Young Researchers’ Conference.
Papers are invited along with the following themes, though not limited to them.
1. Politics – national identity, democracy, minority rights, elections, party system,
2. Economy – sustainable development, energy, climate
3. Society – an ageing population, gender rights, LGBTQ community, family, Church
4. Foreign Policy – Eastern partnership, bilateral relations, NATO and security, India-
5. V4 and the EU – convergences and divergences
Contributors are requested to send their abstracts not exceeding 300 words to
[email protected] by March 15th, 2022.
Prof. Bhaswati Sarkar
[An updated list of speakers and events would be put up here shortly]