"The Hungarian presidency will revolve around four underlying concepts. Using a modern turn of phrase these are the following: European Visegrád, Regional Visegrád, Digital Visegrád and Global Visegrád. We have systematised the tasks in hand. I have asked my fellow prime ministers that, while we doing our work, building diplomatic relations, enhancing our countries’ reputations and encouraging economic cooperation, we should lay special emphasis on culture and the young generation: we should set up scholarships and organise internship programmes. Now that this region has so clearly become successful, and as there is cooperation and harmony among the political leaders, we should also make it possible for the young generation to experience first-hand that which we call the Central European experience: “Central Europeanness”. I learnt about Central Europe when in the eighties we tried to get to jazz festivals in Poland on the train to Krakow. I learnt about Central Europe at a time when Prague was the Number One in the world for university students like me. And we learnt about Central Europe when a trip to Bratislava was something historic. So there is a Central Europe.


We want young people to experience in a modern way this fraternal feeling, the cohesion that exists here in Central Europe. We want them to see for themselves that we’re not just talking about nostalgia or about history, we’re not just talking about the culture of ancient times, but we’re also talking about the future and four modern states: a modern Central Europe. I’m convinced that if we can avoid mistakes – and there’s a good chance we can – Central Europe will in the long run remain Europe’s most rapidly growing region. We shall dedicate the year of the Hungarian presidency to this goal. So I take this opportunity not only to wish the Hungarian presidency every success, but also success to Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. I hope that Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic can give today’s young generation the same experience that our generation was given thirty or thirty-five years ago.


I wish us all every success."